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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

All signs are pointing to growth

While the whole of Europe is waiting with bated breath to see how the Brexit drama will play out, REMONDIS UK has made it very clear that it intends to further strengthen and expand its operations in the country. To this effect, REMONDIS’ British subsidiary recently opened a revamped construction and demolition waste plant at a site in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, approx. 10km south of Newcastle upon Tyne. The site had been acquired by REMONDIS back in 2016 following its acquisition of JBT Waste Services Limited. Now that the 18-month redevelopment stage has been completed, the facility can now recycle mixed construction and demolition waste from the North East of England so that the raw materials can be recovered for reuse.

A variety of sorting systems

    • Councillor Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, and Steve Patterson, Regional Director of REMONDIS UK, opening the new facility

    • The new sorting technology for the facility was installed by the equipment supplier Kiverco with a number of components also being supplied by Walair, Spaleck and Steinert. The actual building construction work was carried out by a locally based contract NCS. With the plant now able to process 45 tonnes of mixed construction and demolition waste per hour, it has the capacity to handle up to 300,000 tonnes per year. A number of systems have been installed to process the material including mechanical screening, magnet separators and density separators (for separating light and heavy waste streams) as well as near-infrared sorting technology to ensure quality of the output. The incoming materials will come from building sites in the North East of England, primarily those within a 30km radius of the plant. Its customers are mainly construction companies, local councils and householders.

  • can be processed every year

An exemplary quality

  • Dave Hughes, regional director for REMONDIS UK, emphasised the quality and significance of the new facility, saying: “This project is a testament to the team that have worked on it. The quality in the execution is obvious to see and this plant will ensure we can deliver the very best levels of service and environmental performance to our customers for years to come.” During an interview with letsrecycle.com, Councillor Simon Henig, leader of Durham county council, added: “It is great to see a business investing for the future in our region and in such an essential industry. This investment will support improvement in our local environment and our local economy.”

    Thanks to the facility’s cutting-edge technology, the commercial waste recycling rates in the region will rise considerably

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