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Following in the footsteps of the Lippe Plant in Lünen, the waste sorting plant in Erftstadt (run by REMONDIS Rhineland since 2005) has officially been named by KlimaExpo.NRW as one of the best pioneering projects helping to prevent climate change. By producing secondary raw materials and fuels, the plant succeeds in reducing carbon emissions by between 70,000 and 80,000 tonnes every year.
The facility is one of the most innovative and most modern plants for sorting household and bulky waste to be found in Germany. A highly technical process is being used there to ensure the materials are sorted to a consistently high standard. What’s more, the facility is also able to further process the recovered materials itself. Besides recovering ferrous and non-ferrous metals, the plant also operates near infrared spectroscopy which automatically recognises and removes plastics so that they can be recycled for re-use. Once the materials have been sorted, the facility transforms non-recyclable waste into quality-assured refuse-derived fuel (RDF) with defined properties, such as calorific and chlorine values. The RDF is used as an alternative source of energy by the nearby Berrenrath power station operated by RWE Power AG as well as by various cement works. Any residual materials left over after the sorting process are sent to waste incineration plants close by where they are used to generate energy.
The facility recovers recyclable materials, such as ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals and plastics, using e.g. magnet and eddy current separators and near infrared spectroscopy, and produces RDF from high calorific waste
Carbon emissions reduced by up to 80,000 tonnes a year
REMONDIS Rhineland’s decision to produce refuse-derived fuel from local waste is not only having a positive impact on the environment but is also helping to prevent climate change. Each year, its operations reduce carbon emissions by between 70,000 and 80,000 tonnes. The whole supply chain is, for the most part, kept entirely within the region. The facility’s convenient location also means the transport routes to other recycling plants are kept to an absolute minimum. Moreover, this combination of materials recycling, RDF production and waste-to-energy treatment has even succeeded in keeping down waste charges in the Rhine Erft District. The environmental and sustainable advantages of operating such a combination of activities have also been confirmed by the EU RECOMBIO project.
A video of REMONDIS’ branch in Erftstadt