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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

Award presented during the Münchner Gefahrgut-Tage

  • The trade magazine ‘Gefahr/gut’ [Hazard/good(s)] recently named REMONDIS Industrie Service the winner of its 2019 Innovation Prize for developing the RETRON transport container system. Jörg Fiebach, deputy head of the Munich Fire Brigade, handed over the award to the company during a special ceremony held on 27th May at the 29th ‘Münchner Gefahrgut-Tage’ [Munich Hazardous Goods Transportation Days]. The Innovation Prize, which was launched by the ‘Gefahr/gut’ magazine back in 2003, is presented to one company each year for developing an innovative solution that makes the transport of hazardous goods safer.

Praise for the prizewinners

    • “Our priority as firefighters is to prevent dangerous situations from happening at all,” explained Jörg Fiebach during the awards ceremony, adding, “Transporting damaged lithium-ion batteries is particularly hazardous because of the risk of a thermal chain reaction.” The best way to prevent such fires starting in the first place is to separate damaged batteries and transport them using a safe and secure system. This year’s prizewinner has done some outstanding work in this area.

    Rudolf Gebhardt, Editor at the ‘Gefahr/gut‘ magazine, Frank Rex, Jury Spokesperson, Robert Sonnenschein, Managing Director at REMONDIS Industrie Service, Christian Kürpick, Project Manager at REMONDIS Industrie Service, Lukas Fast, REMONDIS Industrie Service, and Jörg Fiebach, Deputy Head of Munich Fire Brigade (from left)

UN-approved steel containers

  • The RETRON system uses a hazardous waste container made of high-grade steel that has been specifically designed to deal with the danger of battery fires. These steel containers have been issued the necessary approval allowing them to be used for transporting goods presenting high danger (Packing Group I) and are lined with an inner layer of insulation material. If the batteries do cause a fire, then the insulation ensures that the temperature of the outer walls remains below 100°C. Furthermore, the containers are also equipped with textile bags for holding the batteries, packing material containing rock wool and a relief valve for channelling off any fire gases.

A full service concept from just one company

“The company has developed a full service concept for storing, transporting and processing damaged lithium batteries,” jury member Frank Rex, a hazmat specialist on the Lower Saxony police force, said during his speech introducing the prizewinner. He continued, “The system meets all the stipulations set out in the Battery Law regarding the take-back of old batteries. The jury was truly impressed.”

Watch this video to find out more about the RETRON system’s special features 

The RETRON team is also in the process of working on a container for transporting large traction batteries weighing up to 800 kilogrammes. This project is currently in its prototype phase.

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