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  • Dear Readers!

    If you look back at the editorial in the last issue of REMONDIS AKTUELL, then you’ll find that the comments made there were almost prophetic. Just one of the topics it mentioned was the droughts in 2018, predicting that we could expect much of the same this year. Here we are, just a few months on, and this prediction has come true. Having analysed empirical evidence and ice cores, the overwhelming majority of climatologists agree that these weather conditions have been caused by industrialised humans – and that they can only be put right by humans. The question here, of course, is how. Most people are focusing on cars, energy generated by fossil fuels and, of course, air travel. Everyone is talking about the electrification of vehicles. You just need to consider the physical facts, however, to realise this will not be easy to implement. Germany’s national grid, for example, would be unable to supply the power needed if all vehicle owners tried to recharge their car batteries at the same time. The question must, therefore, be asked whether electromobility is the right solution. The move towards the electrification of vehicles is well underway though, as is the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Scientists, however, are predicting that these measures will not be enough on their own. We have another good idea here and one that is practicable – as can be seen by REMONDIS’ daily work. Namely, making the most of the potential of recycling to curb climate change, preferably on a global scale. If humans were to succeed in systematically recovering raw materials and returning them to production cycles and if they were to stop sending waste to landfill (so methane is not produced there), then this would be the third most effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Germany made this move back in 2005 when it passed the ‘TASi’ [Technical Directive on the Recycling, Treatment and Disposal of Municipal Waste]. It is high time that a European TASi is drawn up or – even better – a global TASi. We are systematically implementing this law at REMONDIS every single day.

    Looking at the international stage, Russia is intensifying its efforts to reduce the amount of waste it takes to landfill by creating a well-functioning circular economy. The Russian government has launched an initiative that has made it obliga- tory for all 80 Russian regions to appoint a general operator to modernise their regional waste management sector and set up more recycling systems. For many years now, REMONDIS has been running just such a system in Saransk, the capital city of the Russian Republic of Mordovia and – according to a 2010 survey – one of the best cities to live in in Russia. The city is, therefore, acting as a role model, showing the direction that the Russian waste management sector could move in in the future.

    A number of our new apprentices joined the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement when they were at school, calling for more to be done to stop climate change. And so it was a logical decision for them to do their apprenticeship at REMONDIS where they can carve out a sustainable career for themselves, “Every Day for Future” so to speak. REMONDIS’ systematic recycling operations ensure waste is transformed into raw materials, energy and heat and play a considerable role in conserving natural resources and tackling climate change. Welcome to the climate professionals.

    Max Köttgen

Councils expect more than one recycling process

An ever-growing number of local councils are insisting that the separately collected organic waste in their regions should not only be sent for composting but processed in a digester as well. This allows the material to be used to produce biogas as well as compost, making an important contribution towards the country’s goal of switching from fossil to renewable fuels. A new co-digestion plant was commissioned in Bohmte at the beginning of July that will serve North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Lower Saxony and the north of Germany and make the very most of the potential of organic waste.

Facility officially opened in July

  • Kompostierungsgesellschaft Region Osnabrück mbH or K.R.O., a joint venture involving REMONDIS Nord GmbH, opened up a new organic waste processing facility north-east of Osnabrück in July. Located on the border between the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony, this new plant uses state-of-the-art technology to recycle organic waste from a number of regions including the District of Osnabrück and the cities of Osnabrück and Bremen. All in all, it has the capacity to process 120,000 tonnes of organic waste and green waste every year. Wolfgang Schöning, managing director of K.R.O, emphasised just how important the new facility is and not just for the immediate region. He explained: “Thanks to our cutting-edge, environmentally sound technology, we are in a position to handle large volumes of organic material from the District of Osnabrück and the surrounding regions in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia as well as from areas in the north of Germany.”

    • Co-digestion ‘kills two birds with one stone’: carbon-neutral energy is generated from the biogas and the digestate is a highly effective soil improver

A new digester added

  • The composting plant, which was renovated and upgraded following a fire in 2014, now has a new digester and an additional area for recycling green waste. The methane gas (which is 25 times more damaging to the climate than CO2) can be removed and used to generate electricity. It is, therefore, increasing the amount of renewable energy produced in the country and helping Germany to reach its climate targets. Managing director, Arne Tiedemann, underlined a further advantage offered by the facility: “Our top quality compost allows farmers and landscaping firms to run a more sustainable business as this material can store up to five times more water than soil without compost. And this is particularly important at times like this when the weather is too dry.”

    • During his speech at the opening of the facility, Dr Michael Lübbersmann, Head of the District of Osnabrück, praised the future-proof recycling system saying that it will play an important role across the whole of the region and beyond

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