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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 

Swapping locations – to the benefit of all

Sometimes it is a good idea to reallocate land to increase the efficiency of a business and generally make things easier. This is precisely what has happened in Berlin. Berlin Recycling GmbH and TSR have swapped grounds at the Westhafen (Western Harbour) in Berlin – a win-win for all involved.

Plan drawn up in 2013

  • For many years now, TSR has been renting two different areas at the Westhafen inland port in Berlin – Westhafen I and Westhafen II. A new plan was drawn up in 2013 to merge these activities and run them at a single location in Berlin to cut transport costs and grow efficiency. By doing so, the equipment and logistics solutions could be deployed far more effectively – and the distance between buildings would be much shorter.

    Thanks to the company’s contacts at Berlin Recycling GmbH, an extremely pragmatic solution was found for this plan: Berlin Recycling, which, at the time, operated a glass recycling plant on grounds adjacent to Westhafen II, was interested in relocating to TSR’s Westhafen I area. In exchange, TSR would get Berlin Recycling’s old grounds which cover more than 20,000 square metres and are right next door to its other operations.

The Berlin switch over – by swapping grounds, both businesses can now operate more efficiently.

Goal to increase turnover rate

An exchange which was completed in June and has made everyone very happy: Berlin Recycling now has grounds that are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and are large enough to tranship the 60,000 tonnes of old glass it collects in Berlin. In turn, TSR has found a good subtenant for Westhafen I. Over the next few months, TSR will be implementing its plans to ensure the new grounds are used effectively. “Besides the investments, which have already been or are yet to be implemented, we will, of course, adapt our business operations and logistics processes to the new situation,” explained regional manager, Marina Dankert. “By doing so, we hope to increase our turnover rate.” The work to convert the grounds is expected to be completed next year.

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