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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

Adding value by working together

“Freiburg has got what everyone is looking for …” is one of the well-known mottos of this city, situated on the edge of the Black Forest. Abfallwirtschaft und Stadtreinigung Freiburg, aka ASF, plays a major role in ensuring that local inhabitants and visitors alike have a positive impression of this historic university city. This public private partnership (PPP) owned by the City of Freiburg and REMONDIS illustrates perfectly just how successful the PPP business model can be in Germany.

80,000 tonnes of waste well under control

Located in the Breisgau region between the Rhine and the Black Forest and with a climate that is almost Mediterranean, Freiburg is a truly green city. The people living and working there have high expectations when it comes to quality of life and cleanliness and it is ASF’s task to make sure these expectations are met. With around 330 employees and 165 vehicles, the company is on the road every day collecting the city’s different waste streams and transporting them to environmentally friendly facilities where glass, paper and sales packaging can be recycled or organic waste transformed into high quality compost and biogas. Thanks to the collaboration between REMONDIS and the City of Freiburg, ASF is now able to recycle around 80,000 tonnes of waste – helping to protect the environment and prevent climate change.

Conference in the town’s concert hall

The decision of the Baden-Württemberg committee of the VKU (German Association of Local Public Utilities) responsible for waste management and city cleaning services to hold their meeting at Freiburg’s Concert Hall on 08 and 09 July 2015 was, therefore, a most suitable choice. Many speeches were held during the two days on subjects such as quality management, occupational health management, collective bargaining laws and work protection. A number of people from various different groups explained how they saw the “Future of the Recycling Sector”.

  • A wealth of know-how on hand

    Mr Helmfried Meinel, Head of the Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector at the Baden-Württemberg state ­parliament, also held a speech at the event. The VKU was represented by the association’s Vice President, Mr Patrick ­Hasenkamp. Dr Alexis von Komorowski described the recycling sector from the point of view of the leading public sector associations. The view of the private sector recycling industry was presented in detail by the honorary chairman of the supervisory board of RETHMANN SE & Co. KG, Mr ­Norbert Rethmann. Most of those present agreed on one thing: the discussions regarding the new recycling law will continue for a number of months yet. In the meantime, the ASF is already demonstrating today just how local inhabitants can benefit when recyclables are collected and treated efficiently.

    • The atmosphere was excellent at the event. (from left to right) Michael Broglin, Managing Director of ASF, Dr Dieter Salomon, Mayor of the City of Freiburg, Norbert Rethmann, Honorary Chairman of the supervisory board of RETHMANN SE & Co. KG, Heinrich Zölzer, former member of the supervisory board, and Eckardt Vogt, Managing Director of REMONDIS South

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