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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 

A strong team

Acting as the main sponsors with their motto “A strong group for a strong Brandenburg”, REMONDIS and EURAWASSER enjoyed a successful time at the 2014 Brandenburg Day, which was held in the south of the state in Spremberg this year.

  • “Brandenburg means a great deal to us. Many of the wide-ranging services provided by REMONDIS, one of Germany’s largest family-run companies, are focused on this region. What was most important for us here though was that the visitors to our stands could find all the information they needed, that they could get to see the technology we use close up and that our youngest guests were kept entertained with a variety of attractions – all of which, of course, involved water.”

    Martin Eger, regional manager at REMONDIS Aqua GmbH & Co. KG responsible for the east of Germany

Representatives from a variety of REMONDIS companies

Not only REMONDIS and EURAWASSER attended the event. LWG Lausitzer Wasser GmbH & Co. KG from Cottbus, Wasserverband Lausitz Betriebsführungs GmbH (WAL-Betrieb) from Senftenberg, a subsidiary of REMONDIS Aqua GmbH & Co. KG, REMONDIS Brandenburg GmbH and TSR GmbH all set up stands to present their comprehensive portfolios.

Taking a close look at the wide range of services

  • Besides being able to take a close look at the modern vehicles used by the companies, the visitors could also learn more about a whole range of subjects – such as the interesting apprenticeship courses offered in Cottbus and Senftenberg, the water being used to create the new Lusatian Lakeland resort, the CCTV systems deployed to inspect water pipes, the mobile “GIS system” and the companies’ eco-friendly decentralised waste management solutions.

    A strong group for a strong Brandenburg.

    The drinking water bar was also ex­tremely popular on this hot July weekend with almost 9,000 cups of water being handed out to the visitors. Brandenburg’s Minister President, Dr Dietmar Woidke, also took this opportunity to quench his thirst and was warmly welcomed to the stand by Marten Eger. Marten Eger described just how wide-ranging the REMONDIS Group’s activities are in Brandenburg. Over 1,400 jobs have been created in the water, service and recycling sectors in the south of Brandenburg. Dr Martina Münch, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport in the state of Brandenburg, also spoke to Marten Eger to learn more about the excellent apprenticeship programmes on offer within the REMONDIS Group.

    • Dr Dietmar Woidke, Minister President of Brandenburg, was welcomed to the stand by Marten Eger, regional manager at REMONDIS Aqua responsible for the east of Germany

A successful day for the 80,000 visitors

  • All in all, it was an extremely successful event with an incredible atmosphere thanks to the perfect weather and, first and foremost, the approximately 80,000 visitors who took part.

    Christine Herntier, Mayor of Spremberg, and Dr Dieter Woidke, Minister President of Brandenburg, were given a present when they visited the stand

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