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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

Top quality hands-on performance

  • Speed and smart logistics were needed to renovate Germany’s highest church. What’s more, XERVON’s scaffolding experts had to be particularly light on their feet: they had to transport seven tonnes of material uphill for the last few metres of the journey by hand.

Logistics all the way up the side of a mountain

Germany’s highest church can be found on a rocky crest high up in the Bavarian Alps, almost at the very top of Mount Wendelstein (1,838m). Built 125 years ago, Wendelstein Church regularly holds Sunday services for worshippers and is also a popular location for weddings. Exposed to the elements, the years of rain, snow, frost and wind have left their mark with damp causing so much damage that there has been no choice but to repair the building.

  • above sea level: Wendelstein Church is Germany’s highest church. Only a handful of chapels can be found higher up

Unusual transport route

The building work began last year with XERVON playing a vital role in the project: REMONDIS’ subsidiary was responsible for carrying out the complex scaffolding work around the outside of the church. The client had awarded the contract to the company because it had been so impressed by its concept to transport and erect the scaffolding and by the fact that its plans had taken absolutely all of the complex challenges of this project into account.

Cog railway used to transport seven tonnes of material

    • Logistics played a major role in the success of this enterprise. All in all, the scaffolding specialists had to transport around seven tonnes of scaffolding material up the mountain – an unusual and time-consuming task. The equipment was first transported by train in a special waggon on the Wendelstein cog railway – normally used by tourists, hikers and churchgoers – to the train station 1,723 metres up the mountain.

    • The team had to carry all the material themselves for the last few metres of the journey

    The material was then unloaded onto the mountain by hand and, from this point onwards, there was no automated equipment available to help the crew: the scaffolding specialists had to walk the last few metres to the church carrying their material themselves.

From resting on the ground to hanging in the air

  • The team was given just five days to transport and erect the scaffolding around the building. Once they arrived at the church everything had to go really quickly because of the weather conditions: a scaffold was erected around three of the church’s walls for the first stage of the building work. The south-facing fourth wall is extremely difficult to access and so a suspended scaffold will be set up there at a later date to provide the builders with a safe platform to do their work. XERVON’s scaffolding experts will use the material that is already there to erect this hanging scaffold for the second part of the project – by rebuilding and repositioning their first scaffold structure.

    Difficult transport conditions and little storage space: Wendelstein Church’s spectacular location required some unusual and highly complex solutions.

    XERVON's concept to transport and erect the materials was implemented perfectly. Despite the difficult weather conditions, everything went according to schedule so that the scaffolding was available on time for the team to carry out their renovation work. Once again this project has shown how the meticulous and detailed planning work that has to be carried out by the XERVON experts is also able to deliver top quality results for the most complex of projects.

Reopening delayed due to bad weather

The renovation work on the church is currently well under way but it is very dependent on the weather. Whenever possible, the builders can be found at the site repairing the roof and walls. They are, however, currently behind schedule as this summer’s weather has not been kind to them. The church services will, therefore, probably not start up again until the end of the year.

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