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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

A joint initiative

  • TSR managing director Bernd Fleschenberg and Scholz managing director Dr Klaus Hauschulte have joined forces with representatives of the copper producers Aurubis to launch the Recycling Initiative. Their primary goal: to create a cross-sector platform to grow and promote a sustainable circular economy in the metal recycling industry.

More and more raw materials are being consumed

With the consumption of raw materials increasing at a disproportionate rate due to the growth in the world’s population, it is essential that the materials that are already being used are recycled as often as possible – in line with the principle of a circular economy. This not only helps conserve our planet’s reserves of raw materials, it also protects our environment as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. “Recycled raw materials must be the local industries’ first choice. By doing so, they help combat climate change and safeguard the future of the industrial sector in Germany – and, of course, the jobs generated by these businesses,” Bernd Fleschenberg explained.

“Recycled raw materials must be the local industries’ first choice. By doing so, they help combat climate change and safeguard the future of the industrial sector in Germany – and, of course, the jobs generated by these businesses.”

Bernd Fleschenberg, TSR Managing Director

Exchanging experiences to move things forward

He hopes that the Recycling Initiative will generate a robust movement that can promote the market for recycled raw materials. All the different players – from the recycling sector and other industries, trade associations and the world of science – are invited to take part in the initiative to join in the ‘dialogue to create a future-proof recycling sector’. Experiences and expertise should be exchanged among those participating and pooled together to create joint positions. “It is not the objective of the Recycling Initiative to take over the important work performed by the trade associations,” Bernd Fleschenberg pointed out. On the contrary: the steps that have already been carried out should be united on this platform and the different players brought together.

First meeting held back in June

  • Representatives from the companies and trade associations met for the first time this June. The focus of this event was primarily on presenting the initiative. The next meeting, which is due to take place in Berlin this autumn, will then be used to try to persuade further companies and associations to join in and promote the use of recycled raw materials. “As can be seen by the logo, this initiative is all about getting things moving,” Bernd Fleschenberg continued. This is also reflected in the Recycling Initiative’s website, where visitors can learn more about the members and read up on some background information, for example about the current challenges faced by metal recycling businesses. “Looking ahead, we also wish to use this platform to publish the joint positions that the members intend to promote together,” he concluded.

    • TSR managing director, Bernd Fleschenberg (left), and Scholz Recycling managing director, Dr Klaus Hauschulte (right), launching the Recycling Initiative together

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