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  • Dear Readers!

    If truth be told, we had all been hoping that we would no longer have to talk about Covid by spring 2021. Who would have thought that we would be spending a second Easter and a second Ramadan with no end to the pandemic in sight? The longer this situation continues, the more difficult it is to maintain the public and personal discipline needed to fight the pandemic. People are weary. They are fed up with having to go from one lockdown to the next with there being no real prospects of life returning to normal. And while infection rates continue to rise no matter what restrictions are put in place, the country’s normally reliable federalist system is beginning to reveal some weaknesses. Is it really helpful that the measures taken to tackle this global threat are decided on at federal state level? On the other hand, why should public life grind to a halt in a sparsely populated region with a low two-figure infection rate just because the number of people catching the virus is rising exponentially in an area several hundred kilometres away? There are no simple answers but at least we are fortunate to have almost 27,000 ICU beds here in Germany and are better prepared for the situation than many other countries. However, being forced to focus almost entirely on treating Covid patients, hospitals are finding themselves in a difficult financial position – to say nothing of the huge and constant stress levels that the ICU healthcare professionals are having to cope with. At least the Covid measures have led to a dramatic decline in all other kinds of respiratory illnesses. Fortunately, the strict hygiene measures have meant that we have not had to deal with a flu epidemic this year.

    The world tends to view Germans as being both extremely organised and efficient. Some may be reconsidering their opinion, though, looking at the speed – or lack of speed – vaccinations are being rolled out. Which once again brings us back to the subject of using the private sector to deliver essential services. Here, too, many problems could have been prevented right from the start if politicians had taken up the help offered by the private sector to support the vaccination campaign. It can be assumed that an international online ticket seller, one able to sell millions of tickets for rock festivals or worldwide concert tours within just a few hours, would be able to organise online vaccination appointments faster and more efficiently than the overworked local health authorities with their outdated IT systems – and certainly without their website crashing or without them having to develop new software first. Such offers, however, have been taken up by just a few individual public health offices and then only belatedly.

    Are things running more smoothly in the circular economy? This latest issue of REMONDIS aktuell takes a closer look at the differences between rural districts and cities. It is, above all, the rural district authorities that turn to the private sector for help in providing a number of services – both in the circular economy as well as in the area of water and wastewater management. This approach not only promises to deliver the best services at sensible prices. It also has a major impact on how efficient their sustainability efforts actually are. With local authorities facing both an increased financial burden caused by the pandemic and an urgent need to renovate their infrastructure, it is well worth taking a closer look at the situation. 22% of local councillors believe that their local business tax revenue will be at least 10% lower in 2021 than it was in 2019. The majority of district and town councils, 64% to be precise, are planning to increase their local taxes and/or charges. There is certainly room for them to optimise their business operations in the area of cost-intensive key services, such as waste and water management, by systematically putting these services out to tender, extending their PPP arrangements or founding a new PPP company.

    We hope you enjoy reading this latest issue. Stay safe!

    Yours, Ludger Rethmann

Focusing on sustainability

  • A well-functioning circular economy is an indispensable part of sustainable business. To achieve the best possible carbon footprint, therefore, circular economy firms must also consider the sustainability of their kerbside collection activities. REMONDIS sees itself as being both responsible and proactive in this area. It certainly considers logistics as yet another way to grow sustainability and, wherever possible, is looking at using vehicles run on alternative, more climate-friendly fuels. This also applies to the Danish capital region in and around Copenhagen.

Extended partnership with ARC

REMONDIS is now purchasing a total of eight natural gas refuse collection vehicles there as part of its partnership with ARC (Amager Resource Center). Each truck will be able to cover a distance of approx. 400,000 kilometres every year. ARC is a Danish recycling company owned by the municipalities of Dragør, Frederiksberg, Hvidovre, Copenhagen and Tårnby. Among other things, it is responsible for operating nine recycling centres in the region. The company is known far beyond Denmark as the operator of Amager Bakke, a waste-to-energy plant with an artificial ski slope on its roof.

  • “What was important for this contract was that the municipality wished to have a partner who could help further develop its collection and recycling processes and, by doing so, help it to reach its ambitious recycling goals.”

    Søren Eriksen, REMONDIS Managing Director

An extensive range of services

REMONDIS will continue to collect and transport recyclable materials, such as packaging and paper, on behalf of ARC for many more years. This contract also includes garden material and green cuttings. The collaboration between REMONDIS and ARC, which began four years ago, has, therefore, not only been extended but also includes additional responsibilities. Having been put out to tender and awarded to REMONDIS, this contract is one of the largest of its kind in Denmark. The affiliated communities, which are home to around 800,000 inhabitants in all, operate a delivery system for which around 23,000 containers were set up.

Glass collection to continue in Frederiksberg

  • REMONDIS has been responsible for collecting used glass in the city of Frederiksberg for five years. Following the latest tender process organised by the utilities company Frederiksberg Forsyning, REMONDIS has once again been awarded the contract for the next few years. Frederiksberg, located in the west of the Danish capital Copenhagen and completely enclosed by the urban area of its bigger sister, has just over 100,000 inhabitants.

    • REMONDIS has been responsible for collecting used glass in the city of Frederiksberg for five years. It has now been awarded a new contract

Well equipped for the future

    • “What was important for this contract was that the municipality wished to have a partner who could help further develop its collection and recycling processes and, by doing so, help it to reach its ambitious recycling goals,” commented REMONDIS Managing Director Søren Eriksen. He continued: “This makes REMONDIS the perfect partner – especially in view of its international network.”

    Both successful contracts show that REMONDIS is well set to position itself as a driver of the recycling industry. This is all the more true as Denmark’s politicians are now paving the way for there to be more effective cooperation work between private and public sector companies operating in the circular economy.

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