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  • Dear Readers!

    “I believe in horses. Automobiles are a passing phenomenon.” These are the words said to have been uttered by the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, at the time when mobility was going through a radical change. No one can say for sure whether he really said this or not but it is a quote that is often used as an example of people badly misjudging the importance of an invention – and not just by futurologists. Today, mobility is once again undergoing a radical change. In some areas of the country, air quality has deteriorated so much that politicians, industrial businesses and consumers are being forced to rethink the way they act, in particular in large cities. The diesel scandal has simply further aggravated the situation. The first councils have begun banning old diesel cars from using the roads where air pollution is highest. At the same time, city planners are focusing almost entirely on creating living space and high quality office buildings. In contrast, tradespeople and commercial businesses, such as recycling firms, are gradually being pushed further and further outside the city. Their work though should continue to be quiet, free of dust and, wherever possible, without CO2 or NOX emissions.

    It’s definitely time to start thinking about possible alternatives. What could be better than using one of the country’s waste streams – i.e. organic waste – as a source of post-fossil fuel and, by doing so, enable waste collections to be carbon-neutral and practically free of fine particulate and NOX emissions? REMONDIS has begun a pilot project near Cologne to do just this and is currently testing six vehicles run on biogas.

    The recycling industry has a new market player: the Schwarz Group (Lidl), which has an annual turnover of EUR 96.7 billion (2017) – bigger than the whole of the German recycling sector put together. Earlier this year, the Schwarz Group’s subsidiary, Green Cycle, purchased Tönsmeier, the fifth-largest recycling company in Germany, acquiring a volume of sales three times bigger than all of the acquisitions made by REMONDIS in 2016 and 2017. Industry experts believe that the Schwarz Group will also enter Germany’s ‘Dual System’ market (kerbside collection of sales packaging) in the not too distant future.

    There is so much happening in the German recycling market at the moment – a market which, according to the “Status Report on the German Circular Economy”, has around 10,800 companies competing against each other. While none of the private sector firms has a monopoly in any area of the waste management and recycling industry, the trend towards councils renationalising waste services continues unabated leading to the creation of regional monopolies. As a result, the private sector’s share of the market is also slowly decreasing. At present, for example, its share of conventional waste collection services lies at around 50% of the overall market. As always, we hope you enjoy reading this latest issue of REMONDIS AKTUELL.


    Thomas Conzendorf

Establishing high standards

Learning from the best – that’s something REMONDIS has no problem doing when it comes, for example, to digitisation and cutting-edge recycling technology. REMONDIS has had two particular goals in mind since taking over the Swedish company, Ad Infinitum: to establish services on the Swedish market that reflect the high German standards as well as to benefit from the Swedish recycling sector’s long-standing expertise in the area of digitisation.

Acquisition of the Swedish firm, Ad Infinitum

REMONDIS recently took over Ad Infinitum Recycling AB, a Swedish firm based in Boras (east of Gothenburg), with retroactive effect from 01 September 2017. Run under the new name REMONDIS Infinitum AB, the company offers its customers a full range of recycling services from its branches in Boras, Bandhagen and Jönköping. The customers and local residents will now be able to benefit from the German firm’s comprehensive network and know-how. The goal here is to offer more services, in particular to German companies operating in Sweden who are used to the high standards provided by REMONDIS on its home market. Having recently begun operating in Denmark, this acquisition of a Swedish company is a further important step for Germany’s leading recycling business as it looks to grow its presence in Scandinavia.

  • “We believe Sweden will have a positive impact on the digitisation of our industry and lead to more advanced recycling technology.”

    Matthias Illing, Managing Director of REMONDIS Infinitum AB

Portfolio remains intact

REMONDIS has also taken over the firm’s 130 employees and around 70 commercial vehicles and will continue to deliver all the services previously offered by Ad Infinitum AB. These primarily focus on collecting and treating commercial and municipal waste. However, REMONDIS will also be working closely with local authorities, industrial and retail businesses as well as private households as it is also responsible for handling material collected via the Swedish take-back scheme for used sales packaging. Matthias Illing, managing director of REMONDIS Infinitum AB, believes it is important that the company continues to deliver top quality services.

High level of digitisation

“This acquisition is a great opportunity for us to work in this strong economy. The country has exactly the same attitude towards creating a sustainable recycling sector as we do. We won’t need to convince people of the benefits of recycling which means we won’t need to drop our standards,” Matthias Illing continued. On the contrary: digitisation is far more widespread in Sweden than it is in Germany – both across the country in general and in its waste management sector. One important advantage for REMONDIS in entering the Swedish market is, therefore, that it can continue to develop its business in this area to reflect Swedish standards. “We believe Sweden will have a positive impact on the digitisation of our industry and lead to more advanced recycling technology,” he concluded.

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