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  • Dear Readers!

    Whilst the energy transition “experiment” continues unabated in Germany and the large energy providers find themselves in a difficult situation as they try to find out exactly what their main business now is, REMONDIS – as a consumer – has been taking action and has come up with some innovative solutions to tackle the energy problem. We have, for example, succeeded in considerably reducing energy consumption at our dismantling centre for waste electrical and electronic equipment at the Lippe Plant in Lünen by introducing a new energy management system. Whereas, in the past, it had only been possible to see how much energy the plant was consuming as a whole, a new software system – developed by the company itself – now enables the ­consumption of each individual piece of equipment and each individual light to be recorded. One of the responses to the results generated by this new system was to exchange all the lights in the plant with state-of-the-art LEDs. This has led to more light with fewer carbon emissions and lower costs and this idea is catching on across the whole of the group. This is what we at REMONDIS believe the energy transition to be.

    REMONDIS continues to enjoy healthy growth and not only in its home region of North Rhine-Westphalia. Our family-owned company has been expanding in the countries which are on its list of “core regions”. These include, for example, neighbouring countries such as Poland to the east and the Netherlands to the west. The Dutch recycling firm, van ­Gansewinkel, recently sold its Polish operations to ­REMONDIS. Furthermore, REMONDIS acquired the business locations and activities of the Becker Group in the south of Poland. Thanks to these latest transactions, we have succeeded in expanding our range of services for our Polish customers and strengthening our position on the Polish market – one of the company’s so-called core markets. At the time of going to press, we also received the good news that our Dutch subsidiary has taken over the Dusseldorp Group. This will considerably grow REMONDIS Nederland’s operations in the Dutch recycling sector.

    According to the Federal Office for National Statistics, the total debt of the local and district authorities in Germany lay at around 140 billion euros at the end of 2014 – and this figure is likely to rise. Some councils, however, are of the opinion that they can solve this problem by remunicipalising services that, they believe, fall into the category of “vital public services”. To be able to do this though they must spend large sums of money on setting up the necessary infrastructure – an infrastructure that private sector firms already have in place and which they could offer far more cost-effectively. We know from experience that the best solution is to work together as partners, as can be seen in the City of Freiburg in the Breisgau region. The PPP model continues to be a practicable solution that unites the two worlds in the best possible way and brings the most benefits for the regional economy and the local inhabitants.

    The arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees in Germany to escape from their war-torn homelands will mean greater challenges as well as some great opportunities for our ­country and local authorities. Let us work together in a spirit of optimism and confidence to create a better future for ­everyone living in our country. REMONDIS is there as always to help and advise its municipal partners. 

    Yours

    Ludger Rethmann

Children take over the reins

  • Shaping the future is something that only adults do? You must be joking! Around 150 children and teenagers, aged between 8 and 14, took charge of this subject at the first Kids Climate Conference held in Germany this June. During the event, they took part in seven different workshops to discuss the subjects of consumption and handling resources responsibly and to develop their own vision for a better, more environmentally friendly way of life. REMONDIS’ RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS were also there to organise two workshops that used a host of creative ways to teach the children more about avoiding waste, segregating waste correctly and recycling.

Film workshop on separating recyclables

  • “And action!” was the motto of the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS’ first workshop. Using a pre-prepared backdrop, each of the seven groups of children was given the task of making a short film to answer the question: “How to best separate recyclable waste?”. A professional film director was on hand to help the children and work with a camera team to put the scenes together. Many of the children proved to have a natural talent for acting and they made the most of the leeway given to them to give free rein to their imagination and creativity. The educational side of the project was not neglected here though, as the children learned that everyone can help to segregate waste correctly and return recyclables to production cycles so they can be re-used. The kids left the film set and the workshop as real RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS.

    The film workshop united environmental education and acting

A sculpture made from recyclable materials

  • The RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS’ second workshop concentrated on how to avoid waste. Much too much waste is produced every day. Can this waste be put to good use? The answer to this question was a resounding ‘yes’ and the children at the Kids Climate Conference set about creating a sculpture made of recyclables to get their message across. The children used packaging materials such as PET bottles, egg cartons, plastic bags, tins and many other objects to make small pieces of art with hidden messages and wishes that were then attached to a wooden pillar. Assisted by an art teacher, they gradually created one large piece of art made of avoidable waste.

    “Whilst they were at the workshop, many of the children began thinking of ways of how they could avoid generating waste in the future and developing alternative ideas. By working with the materials, therefore, they became more aware of how waste is a problem. And this is exactly what we are looking to achieve with this workshop,” explained Johanna Spinn, head of the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS project. The sculpture is first being displayed at the office of the mayor of Medebach, where the Kids Climate Conference was held. It will then be taken on tour to allow many more people to read the children’s wishes and ideas.

    A work of art made from avoidable waste – the children’s sculpture made of recyclables

“Turning old into new” was the motto of the ­RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS’ creative workshop.

16 guiding principles for a better world and better environmental policies

  • On the final day, the children’s creative ideas were brought together to draw up 16 guiding principles for a better world and better ­environmental policies. Doable visions – such as “Don’t buy plastic bags”, “Have environmental protection put on the school curriculum” and “Use car-sharing schemes” – were summarised and added to a so-called climate book. To keep the subject going, the climate book is to be handed over to the mayor and the schools that took part in the conference. This will help to keep the Kids Climate Conference in the forefront of their minds and help to make as many people as possible aware of these new ideas.

The Kids Climate Conference was first set up in the Netherlands by Center Parcs and the WWF. It is targeted at children and teenagers aged between eight and fourteen. The event took place in Germany for the first time this year. It was held in the Center Parcs located in the Hochsauerland region.

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