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  • Dear Readers!

    The summer break has come to an end and people are gradually returning to work – as are the MPs in Berlin. Once again, environmental politicians are focusing on the subjects of waste management and recycling. The coalition agreement, signed by the Government in 2013, gives great importance to curbing global warming and using our planet’s natural resources efficiently and also expressly states that innovations that protect the environment, prevent climate change and preserve resources are also opportunities for economic growth. Industry specialists are well aware, however, that economic growth and more innovations are only possible if there are clear framework conditions in place that guarantee fair competition, if product responsibility is extended and if recycling targets are raised. The latter, in particular, can only be implemented if the necessary legal framework has been established so that joint kerbside collection schemes for packaging and other recyclables can be set up.

    Unfortunately, the latest draft bill for the new packaging law has failed to deliver what many had been hoping for. What we seem to have here is the eighth amendment to the Packaging Ordinance rather than a genuine recyclables law. Whilst there are a few positive approaches to remedying the current deficiencies, it does not deal with the question of whether waste made of similar materials to packaging should also be collected in recycling bins. The increased recycling targets are well below the volumes that could actually be recovered from household waste. According to the latest studies, an additional 7.8 million tonnes of raw materials could still be collected which in turn would reduce carbon emissions by a further 1.6 million tonnes. Moreover, the need for fair competition and a level playing field between the private and public sector companies has not been tackled in the draft bill either. And there is practically no mention of introducing effective ecodesign guidelines that would force manufacturers to think about how their products could be recycled when actually designing them. We must wait and see whether this draft bill actually becomes law. The private recycling sector believes that a number of improvements need to be made to the bill. Time is running out, however, with the general election coming up next year.

    REMONDIS demonstrates just what can be done with waste and how the very most can be made of these materials to curb climate change and protect the environment – such as at its Lippe Plant in Lünen. The efforts being made by the company here were officially recognised recently when KlimaExpo.NRW (a cross-departmental initiative of the state government of NRW to prevent climate change, conserve resources and achieve sustainable economic growth) added three of the Lippe Plant’s areas of expertise to its list of the twelve best projects in North Rhine-Westphalia. At this site, industrial and household waste is recycled and turned into primary products for industrial businesses, waste and residual materials are transformed into fuels and, last but by no means least, biomass is recycled or used to generate energy. These three areas of expertise alone reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 416,000 tonnes every year – and are, therefore, getting as close as technically possible to achieving fully closed cycles. The Lippe Plant flagship project is becoming ever more effective. It is high time that this model becomes the norm so that future generations also have a planet worth living on.


    Thomas Conzendorf

Developing & implementing practicable concepts

  • The way in-house waste management is handled plays an important role in the success of a company. Taking its customers’ specific needs into account, REMONDIS develops practical concepts and then helps them to be implemented. Hengst SE & Co. KG, one of the world’s leading specialists for filtration systems, has also benefited from this service with REMONDIS drawing up bespoke waste management solutions for its German factories.

The goal: to grow recycling rates

  • Hengst Automotive is well-known on the global market for developing and delivering filtration and fluid management systems for the automobile and engine industries as well as for industrial and consumer applications. It employs over 3,000 people at 15 locations in Germany, Brazil, China, Denmark, India, Poland, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates as well as in the USA

    Hengst and REMONDIS have been partners for a while now. The focus of this successful collaboration work has been on developing comprehensive and effective waste management systems for its German plants. REMONDIS’ concept was first implemented at the factory at the group’s head office in Münster in the middle of 2015. The plants in Berlin and Nordwalde were added to this list in April 2016.

    Improving in-house logistics means less time is needed to transport and empty the containers around the plant.

    REMONDIS drew up waste management and logistics concepts to fulfil the precise needs of each individual production site. The goal here was to meet Hengst’s primary aim of significantly lowering waste volumes by improving the segregation of the different materials and increasing recycling rates.

From the initial review to a new system

  • The first step that the project team from REMONDIS’ west region had to carry out was to analyse the situation at all the different plants – from looking at the waste volumes being generated, to the container systems being used, to analysing the distances taken to dispose, store and manage the waste materials. Using this information, project engineer, Arne Ringkowski, developed various ways to improve the systems at the different Hengst sites. His proposals covered subjects such as material flow management, intralogistics, staff deployment, information systems and staff training courses.

    If materials are segregated better and less waste is thrown into the wrong bins, then the recycled products are of a higher quality and can be marketed more easily.

    • A solution was drawn up for the Nordwalde plant that enabled a further 50 tonnes of materials to be recycled for re-use every year. 216 containers and 13 different kinds of container were needed for the system that had previously been in place. Fundamental changes were introduced here, adapting the system to reflect the various fractions and volumes as well as the locations where the waste is actually being generated. This has led to considerable improvements, especially in the areas of paper and cardboard, plastic film and waste containing reusable materials. Moreover, the distances that employees must walk to throw away the waste have been kept as short as possible and the in-house transport systems have been pooled together.

“We were only prepared to work with REMONDIS if they were able to develop sustainable environmental and economic solutions for all the relevant areas and were able to implement these themselves at all of our plants.”

Karsten Reth, Head of Facility Management at Hengst SE & Co. KG

Tangible environmental & economic benefits

The amount of time that Hengst needs to spend on waste management has been reduced by around 1,000 hours a year simply by having its in-house processes and container systems reorganised. This, of course, gives them more time to concentrate on their core business. Moreover, they get more revenue from marketing their recyclables and have lowered their transport costs. All in all, the amount of transport they need now has been almost halved. Great news for the environment: carbon emissions caused by the fractions plastic film, paper and cardboard, timber and waste containing reusable materials have been cut by 26 tonnes a year.

Training courses provide additional benefits

REMONDIS has also carried out training courses for the employees at all of Hengst’s sites. At the top of the agenda: focusing on the fact that the better the different materials are segregated from each other, the better they can be recycled. A special colour-coded system was introduced at Hengst to make the system even clearer, making it easier to collect the different types of waste separately and reducing the number of materials being thrown into the wrong bin.

Thomas Wällering, head of project development at REMONDIS, commented: “Our optimisation concepts provide our industrial and commercial customers with top quality bespoke solutions. Teaching the employees to separate the materials properly is extremely important.”

A summary of the benefits

  • A comparison of the costs based on REMONDIS’ price indicator revealed that the following tangible benefits have been achieved as a result of improving the in-house waste management system:

      • A significant increase in the volume of materials being sent for materials recycling
      • A considerable reduction in the number of hours spent on in-house waste management
      • A reduction in overall costs by improving material flow management
      • A reduction in carbon emissions by considerably lowering transport requirements
  • All about RE2WIN+ (in German only)

    Thanks to its new and protected concept, RE2WIN+, REMONDIS now makes it possible for its customers to systematically check their costs

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