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  • Dear Readers!

    There have been waste management laws in Germany for over 40 years now. At least once a decade, politicians have made some groundbreaking decisions. The “Deponieverordnung” (Landfill Ordinance), the separate kerbside collection system for waste packaging and the “TaSi”, which bans certain materials being taken to landfill and has been acting as a role model for many countries, are all examples of how they have succeeded in systematically moving the country’s waste management sector away from landfills towards more recycling. These courageous decisions, which more often than not involve large investments, have primarily been implemented by private sector businesses but also by municipal waste management companies. We have reached that crossroads again. Germany has to decide which direction it wishes to move in and just how sustainable it wishes to become. The country’s upper house, the Bundesrat, has instructed the Government to submit a draft bill for a new recyclables law by the end of the year, presenting a unique opportunity for them to catapult German recycling activities into a completely new dimension. It is a well-known fact that waste is a source of raw materials. According to a recent INFA study, a further 95kg of recyclable materials could be collected per person per year. The signals coming from the Ministry of the Environment, however, are not particularly encouraging. Here, they are obviously thinking of limiting this new law to waste packaging and wastes made of similar materials. When recycling bins were first introduced in Germany, they were used exclusively for collecting old sales packaging. The decision to allow them to also be used for waste made of similar materials was made a while ago now and it is estimated that this move would only increase the amount of recyclables collected by an additional 5kg per person per year. At REMONDIS, we believe even this figure to be illusory as our experience from collecting, sorting and recycling the contents of the recycling bins has shown that many people are already throwing wastes made of similar materials to packaging into the bin – an intelligent move even if they are not supposed to do this. If politicians limit the new law to just this area, then it will, for the most part, be completely ineffective. We are, therefore, calling on politicians to act as visionaries and be courageous. Make the most of this unique opportunity and set ambitious collection and recycling rates. This is the only way to ensure Germany has a secure supply of raw materials and that everything possible is done to prevent climate change.

    Developing sustainability in the water and recycling sectors is just beginning in Asia. Materials recycling has been neglected in this region for far too long and has hardly been able to keep up with the exponential growth on the continent. Singapore is now looking to do more in this area. One of the latest projects of the country’s National Environmental Agency (NEA) involves a new facility to process slag from waste incineration plants and recover ferrous and non-ferrous metals at the same time. REMEX is the company responsible for building and operating it. Once again, Singapore is forging ahead and acting as a role model for other densely populated regions in Asia.

    Back in Germany, REMONDIS continues to extend its successful cooperation work with local authorities. The recently founded AWIGO Logistik GmbH is the company’s latest joint venture – a public private partnership between the administrative district of Osnabrück and REMONDIS’ regional company, REMONDIS Nord.

    As always, I hope you enjoy reading about these and the many other topics in this latest issue of REMONDIS aktuell.


    Max Köttgen 

Thinking big – on a small scale

What do the Saarland and REMONDIS have in common? At first glance, the question would appear to be difficult to answer. However, a look at the Saarland’s new slogan, “Great things always come from small beginnings”, reveals some interesting similarities. REMONDIS, for example, began as a small forwarding business and is now one of the world’s largest recycling, services and water companies. Despite its global growth, REMONDIS still places great importance on “small” regional projects. One example can be found in the Saarland, where its regional company, Region Südwest, has acquired a number of businesses from the Saar Umwelt Service Group – with retroactive effect from 01 January 2014 – once again strengthening its presence in the region.

Greater proximity to customers thanks to new business locations

Saar Umwelt Service GmbH is an amalgamation of Saar Entsorgung GmbH, Saar-Müll-Dienst GmbH and Kleiner Recycling GmbH. In addition, Saar Entsorgung owns a fifty percent share in SWG Saarbrücker Wertstoff GmbH, a joint venture with the City of Saarbrücken which also holds a 50 percent share in the business. In addition to the head office in Kirkel, this transaction also involves the acquisition of business locations in Saarwellingen, Saarbrücken and Petersberg in the Westpfalz region. These new businesses are an excellent addition to the Region Südwest’s existing network between Dillingen and Pirmasens in the Saarland. ”Our goal is to be as close as possible to our customers. These new locations from the Saar Umwelt Group fit into our regional concept perfectly and will help us to get a lot closer to this goal,“ explained Georg Eicker, managing director of REMONDIS Region Südwest.

“Our goal is to be as close as possible to our customers“

Georg Eicker, REMONDIS Managing Director responsible for the South West Region

120,000 tonnes of material every year

The former owner of the Saar Umwelt Group, Axel Rösner, expressed his pleasure at ”finding a partner like REMONDIS that is interested in further expanding my company and in securing the jobs of my employees.“ Axel Rösner will also be supporting REMONDIS in an advisory capacity over the next few years. The Saar Umwelt Group’s services cover all waste management activities involving household waste and wood as well as paper, card and cardboard, making them an ideal addition to REMONDIS’ portfolio in the south west region. The four new locations handle a significant volume of materials, namely around 120,000 tonnes, every year.

The Saar Umwelt Group operates more than 100 waste collection vehicles

Paper, card and cardboard make up their largest fraction with the companies processing 52,000 tonnes a year. This is followed by commercial, industrial and household waste suitable for thermal recycling (approx. 35,000 tonnes) and by wood (just under 27,000 tonnes a year). ”We want to unite the potential of the various locations and create synergies in order to further improve our portfolio and provide both private households and commercial and industrial businesses with even better services,“ concluded Georg Eicker. 

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