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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 

Committed to supporting the Polish city of Trzemeszno

The REMONDIS Aqua Group has further intensified its commitment to the Polish market: in June, it acquired a 40 percent share in the municipal water and wastewater company owned by the City and District of Trzemeszno. Working together, they now intend to further improve water management, recycling and services in the region.

Working together since July 2014

The District of Trzemeszno is situated west of Warsaw and comprises the City of Trzemeszno itself as well as 40 different towns and villages. In the past, water management and recycling services had been provided by a company fully owned by the local authorities. Things have changed recently, however, with REMONDIS Aqua acquiring a 40 percent share in the municipal business in June. Just two weeks later, at the beginning of July, the company began operating under its new name, REMONDIS Aqua Trzemeszno Sp. z o.o..

High expectations

REMONDIS Aqua Trzemeszno serves around 15,000 local inhabitants. Each year, the three waterworks in the region process a total of 520,000m³ of drinking water on behalf of their private and commercial customers and the Trzemeszno sewage treatment plant around 280,000m³ of wastewater. In addition to its water management responsibilities, the company also operates in the recycling sector and provides road-cleaning and winter services.

REMONDIS Aqua works together with local authorities, associations and industrial businesses in Poland.

Both the region of Trzemeszno and the mayor, Krzysztof Dereziński, have high expectations of this partnership with REMONDIS Aqua. Their joint goal is to further develop this partly privatised firm and create a modern, customer-friendly service company that perfectly unites sustainability and economic efficiency.

Finance secured for urgent investments

From point of view of corporate law, this joint venture was carried out by Warsaw-based REMONDIS Aqua Sp. z o.o. REMONDIS Aqua’s foreign subsidiary excelled during the tender process, in particular thanks to its levels of expertise and know-how gathered from similar partnerships such as those with the Polish districts of Drobin and Toszek.

One special feature of this cooperation agreement with Trzemeszno is that the acquisition was completed by increasing the nominal capital. This means that all the funds put aside for the acquisition remain inside the company and can be used to finance investments which are so urgently needed.

Focusing on modernisation

  • These planned investments cover all infrastructures including the drinking water and sewer pipe networks and the waterworks themselves. Priority has also been put on modernising the sewage treatment plant where plans are in place for the mechanical treatment processes to be improved. By optimising the various processes, the partners are looking to increase quality and so improve the discharge values. Furthermore, an intermediate storage structure is to be built which will be able to hold excess water during heavy rainfall.

    The historic water tower in Trzemeszno is still in operation today ensuring water pressure is kept at the right level

A promising business model for other local authorities

With the company looking to further improve the quality of its services, plans have also been drawn up to upgrade in-house structures, including modernising the fleet of vehicles, renovating the head office building and setting up a modern customer centre. These investments will be accompanied by initiatives to promote work safety and a comprehensive programme of further training courses for the 53 employees. A meeting has already taken place at LWG Lausitzer Wasser GmbH & Co. KG in Cottbus (also a REMONDIS Aqua joint venture) giving those taking part the opportunity to exchange experiences.

The focus of REMONDIS Aqua’s international activities is on the markets in Poland, Russia, Spain, Turkey and India.

For REMONDIS Aqua, this cooperation work with the City and District of Trzemeszno is a further important step in its goal to strengthen its water management activities on the Polish market. Moreover, this partnership can act as a role model for the many other local authorities having to cope with similar such complex, high investment projects in order to advance their regions.

  • A special event was organised to celebrate the signing of the acquisition agreement – a great start to a promising partnership

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