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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.

    Yours

    Max Köttgen 

Award presented by the President of the IHK

The big day was on 17 May 2014: Robert Ristow, managing director of EURAWASSER Nord GmbH, attended the “TOP Training Company” awards ceremony to receive the company’s certificate and award from Claus Ruhe Madsen, President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) in Rostock.

The ”TOP Training Company“ awards ceremony at the IHK in Rostock (from left to right: Claus Ruhe Madsen, President of the IHK in Rostock; Robert Ristow, Managing Director of EURAWASSER Nord GmbH; Jens Rademacher, Managing Director of the IHK in Rostock; Harry Glawe, Minister for Economic Affairs for the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)

A whole range of criteria

  • ”It is a great honour for us to receive this award again. This underlines our many years of commitment to training young people and sends out a clear signal to potential trainees and apprentices that we offer high quality and practically relevant training courses as well as excellent career prospects. Whilst many businesses are having to cope with fewer applications, our strong reputation has meant that our application num-bers have remained stable and, in some cases, even increased,“ commented Robert Ristow. Each year, the Chamber of Commerce awards the title, ”TOP Training Company“, to businesses in recognition of their efforts to train young people. The ”TOP Training Company“ award is a great advertisement for the excellent training opportunities on offer in the region. To be able to qualify for the award, the Chamber of Commerce takes a close look at the companies, concentrating on aspects such as bespoke help given to apprentices, career prospects after their apprenticeship has finished and general support offered by the firms.

    The “TOP Training Company” award is a great advertisement for the excellent training opportunities on offer in the region

A wide variety under one roof

EURAWASSER Nord GmbH – which supplies drinking water and treats wastewater on behalf of the City of Rostock and a further 76 neighbouring districts – teaches around 20 apprentices every year. It offers seven very different apprenticeship courses helping those taking part to become industrial electronics engineers, specialists for wastewater technology, specialist water supply technicians, industrial clerks, IT spe-cialists for applications development, specialists for con-structing sewer networks or pipe specialists. The appren--tices at EURAWASSER Nord are involved in the business right from the very beginning and learn all about the latest state-of-the-art technology relevant to their course.

A wide variety of options for apprentices

EURAWASSER Nord GmbH has committed itself to taking on all their apprentices who have done well in their course, initially for a period of 12 months. Moreover, apprentices who have been particularly successful are given a grant if they wish to study and professional support by enabling them to do internships. Apprentices that are taken on after their apprenticeship have the opportunity to do a three-month internship abroad at one of the companies in the REMONDIS Aqua Group to learn more about the business. ”Our plan – namely to ensure we can cover our personnel requirements with qualified and motivated employees trained by ourselves – is proving to be a success: Seven of our eight apprentices, who finished their course in 2012, now have a permanent contract of employment with our company,“ commented Robert Ristow.

The new apprenticeship year has begun

The apprentices are paid in accordance with the collective wage agreements and receive additional allowances for travel, accommodation and learning materials. ”I’m really pleased that I decided to do an apprenticeship at EURAWASSER Nord,“ said Filip Jahnke, who has been working at the company for several weeks now having successfully completed his apprenticeship to become a specialist for wastewater technology. The new apprenticeship year has just begun – EURAWASSER Nord has welcomed six new apprentices to its company.

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