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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

No 1 priority: keeping people safe

  • Pedestrians and cyclists are in a lorry’s blind spot for not much longer than three seconds. Unfortunately, though, this is more than enough time for an accident to happen especially when a truck is turning a corner. These accidents are all too often fatal and the chances of such an accident happening are increasing all the time as the number of people on our roads continues to grow. More lorries, more cyclists, more pedestrians and, added to the mix just recently, the new e-scooters – our streets are getting busier and busier. REMONDIS GmbH & Co. KG, Region Nord (REMONDIS’ north division), has decided to retrofit the whole of its fleet with blind spot assist systems to make sure all road users are kept as safe as possible.

350 trucks retrofitted

“Everyone’s on the same page at our company when it comes to safety,” explained Andreas Abraham, manager of Region Nord’s workshop in Melsdorf. “If we can minimise the damage caused then the investment was worth every penny!” he continued. He recently ordered 350 LUIS blind spot assist systems for the whole of the region. It is now obligatory for all of REMONDIS’ branches in the region to use this system. Managing director Matthias Hartung has also been holding meetings at the company’s public private partnerships (PPP), such as SAS in Schwerin, to try and persuade them to retrofit their vehicles as well. “Such an investment had obviously not been factored in to the PPPs’ annual plans but our municipal partners seemed very interested in the idea,” Matthias Hartung concluded.

“Everyone’s on the same page at our company when
it comes to safety.”

  • Andreas Abraham, Manager of Region Nord’s workshop in Melsdorf

All trucks must have an assist system by 2021

  • Workshop manager Andreas Abraham is keeping a very close eye on the project to make sure it is being rolled out as scheduled. “The first phase covers all vehicles built between 2013 and 2016 – with priority being given to those used in the city centres,” he explained. All of the vehicles purchased by the REMONDIS Group since 2017 have been ordered with a blind spot assist system. EU law has made it obligatory for all vehicles to be equipped with such a system from 2021 onwards. Andreas Abraham, however, is confident that his region will have reached these high safety standards well before this.

Blind spots eradicated forever

  • The drivers are particularly pleased to be able to use this system. Thanks to an additional screen that has been installed in their cabs, they have their blind spot well under control. First the screen turns red if something moves in this area. An alarm then goes off if the driver turns on his indicator to warn him of the danger. The system does not automatically activate the brake – but Andreas Abraham believes this step is not necessary: “If the system interferes too much in the driver’s job or makes too much of a noise, then there’s a danger that they’ll turn it off because it’s getting on their nerves.” The LUIS system is proving to be a very good choice with many of the drivers saying it has already been well worth its while. There’s no knowing whether such incidents would have actually led to an accident. “What’s important though is that both our drivers and all the other road users feel safer in the future,” he said.

SAS: Praise from German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer

  • Schweriner Abfallentsorgungs- und Straßenreinigungsgesellschaft (SAS) was presented with a certificate by German minister Andreas Scheuer for retrofitting their vehicles with blind spot assist systems before they actually needed to. SAS managing director Andreas Lange travelled to the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in July so that he and the German Minister of Transport could sign a safety partnership between the BMVI and SAS. SAS is one of the first PPP companies to take steps to increase safety on the roads. “A whole number of companies – small and large, public and private – are now joining forces to promote this cause. You are all role models and lifesavers,” Andreas Scheuer concluded.

    German Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer (centre) handing over the official safety partnership certificate to SAS Managing Director, Andreas Lange (right), and Stephan Wilmer, SAS Project Manager (left)

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