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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.

    Yours

    Thomas Conzendorf

More than 500 branches across the country

  • Cherry picking? You must be joking! From the northernmost part of the Island of Sylt to the Alps, from the Polish border to the west of the Lower Rhine district. The REMONDIS Group has more than 500 branches across the whole of the country. One special feature here is the decentralised structure of its network. Local inhabitants, local authorities and industrial businesses always see REMONDIS as being a regional partner no matter where it may be located – whether it be in the middle of Germany or along its borders. REMONDIS’ network stretches right across Germany to the furthest geographical corners: Sylt in the north, Görlitz in the east, Oberstdorf in the south and Heinsberg in the west. Whilst they may be located far apart from each other, they are all united by the same aim: to drive sustainable development in their region.

  • Erkelenz / District of Heinsberg

    • The westernmost district of Germany, the District of Heinsberg, lies nestled between the southern Rhineland region and the Dutch border. REMONDIS GmbH Rhineland serves many different commercial customers throughout this area. The MAUSER Group is its westernmost customer. This manufacturer of industrial packaging employs 4,500 people at 90 business locations in 18 different countries. REMONDIS’ Rhein-Erft branch works together with a number of these. For the last six years, for example, they have been providing two plants in Erkelenz with a comprehensive range of waste management and recycling services.

    The main product manufactured by the MAUSER Group in Erkelenz is IBC containers, which consist of an outer frame made of steel, an inner container made of plastic and a pallet. This means, of course, that the plants generate many different types of waste: from plastic and metal, to old timber, paper and cardboard as well as residual waste. A special system has been set up here to enable the different materials to be segregated at source. This concept, which was developed to fit in with the in-house logistics system, ensures the materials are stored correctly and that the containers are emptied ‘just in time’. “Environmental awareness is important for both of us. By working with REMONDIS, MAUSER has a partner who can deliver quality waste management services, sustainability and reliability right across the country,” commented René Spoel, operations manager for MAUSER North and Western Europe.

  • Sylt / District of Nordfriesland

    • The northernmost bottle bank in Germany can be found in the District of List within sight of the Danish coast. And it is a team of REMONDIS employees who are responsible for collecting this valuable raw material in the northernmost district of Germany. The company has been providing a full range of recycling services for this island, a popular holiday destination, since 1968. Besides offering municipal and commercial services, REMONDIS is also called in to handle any states of emergency that may affect the coast.

      REMONDIS provides both municipal and commercial recycling services on Sylt

    Dealing with oil pollution, damage to the beaches or stranded whales are the exception rather than the rule but they are on the list of the Sylt team’s tasks. The large number of tourists, on the other hand, are certainly a challenge and are regularly planned into the work schedule. The amount of materials that need to be collected doubles during the summer months and the additional 6,000 cars on the island mean there is a distinct lack of space. REMONDIS’ logistics experts on Sylt have to work under unusual conditions: more than 75 percent of the waste has to be transported to the mainland on the car train. That means more than 1,700 containers end up in Niebüll every year and have to be redirected to the various recycling facilities. Only garden and construction waste remain on the island. These are treated on site and recycled into new, sustainable products.

  • Niesky / District of Görlitz

    • REMONDIS Ost GmbH has entered into a public private partnership with the district authorities of Görlitz: together they run the firm, Niederschlesische Entsorgungsgesellschaft mbH. Görlitz is officially the easternmost district of Germany. The company’s head office and logistics centre is in the town of Weißwasser. It also, however, has a branch in Niesky, a town located right in the middle of the district, enabling it to provide the whole region with cost-effective and environmentally friendly services.

      No distance is too far: we use our special SafetyTruck to offer a mobile hazardous waste collection service in Niesky

    27 people work at the Niesky branch travelling from here to collect municipal waste, commercial waste and hazardous waste. This business location also acts as an interim storage facility for hazardous substances. The team also serves Zentendorf, Deschka and Zodel, the only towns in Germany east of the 15th meridian (east). As the time difference here is almost exactly one hour from the Greenwich meridian, this is the perfect place to measure Central European Time. Punctuality is, therefore, not a foreign concept in this part of the country and most certainly not for REMONDIS.

  • Oberstdorf / District of Oberallgäu

    • The REMONDIS Group’s southernmost branch lies at the foot of the Zugspitze in Oberammergau, and it is also its highest branch, lying 873 metres above sea level. It is difficult to take our services much higher but there is room for more sustainability to the south. Oberstdorf Clinic specialises in internal medicine and orthopaedics and treats both local inhabitants and tourists in this popular hiking and skiing district. REMONDIS Medison GmbH, a specialist business owned by REMONDIS Industrie Service, began working with Oberstdorf Clinic this year and is responsible for collecting and recycling its X-ray films. And no distance is too far here as recycling X-rays is well worth its while: ten grams of silver can be recovered from one kilogram of film.

      REMONDIS Medison collects and recycles X-ray film for a local clinic in Oberstdorf

    Thanks to its X-ray recycling activities, the REMONDIS Group is one of the country’s largest producers of silver. Oberstdorf Clinic benefits from this service as soon as it hands over the films to Medison: the clinic is reimbursed for the films which are then processed into a top quality recycled product. This further underlines Oberstdorf Clinic’s desire to drive sustainability. A total of six kilograms of silver have been recovered from the films provided by Oberstdorf Clinic over the last two months. Once the skiing season is in full swing, however, the clinic’s orthopaedic, A&E and hand surgery departments treat up to 100 patients a day.

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