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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

Zero-emissions waste collection

REMONDIS Olpe GmbH has been using a Streetscooter electric van to help keep Lennestadt clean since July. This zero-emissions vehicle is primarily being used for emptying the town’s litter bins, in particular those in the city centre and pedestrianised areas. This family-run business is once again spearheading development in this region, underlining REMONDIS’ mission – as one of the world’s largest recycling, services and water companies – to test out and deploy the most effective climate and resource-friendly solutions.

Battery range: 150 kilometres

“Having carried out a short and successful trial run, we decided to purchase one of these electric Streetscooters as a replacement for our standard diesel-run Sprinter,” explained Felix Maaßen, managing director of REMONDIS Olpe GmbH. “It is not only carbon neutral, it also has the advantage that it can be loaded up from the side,” he added. The Olpe branch team were not the only ones to be won over by the performance of this van whose battery lasts for around 150 kilometres. Theo Melcher, director of the district of Olpe and managing director of the waste management association ZAKO, was also impressed by the investment. During the official presentation of the vehicle in July, he commented: “I can only welcome any vehicle that has low emissions and is able to guarantee that the waste collection services can continue to be carried out safely and according to plan.”

“Having carried out a short and successful trial run, we decided to purchase one of these electric Streetscooters.”

Felix Maaßen, Managing Director of REMONDIS Olpe GmbH

Leading the way in the region

  • This collection van is the first to be used in the field of services offered by REMONDIS Olpe making the company a pioneer across the whole of the region. Besides focusing on electromobility, REMONDIS continues to keep a close eye on all other potential fuels, running its own pilot projects to find the cleanest and most resource-friendly alternative.

    • Director of the District of Olpe, Theo Melcher (left), and Managing Director Felix Maaßen are pleased to be able to offer carbon-neutral street-cleaning services

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