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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

Giving the kids’ creativity free rein

Wirtschaftsbetriebe Lünen or WBL held its first ever art competition for Year 3 pupils attending primary schools in Lünen. The motto of the competition was “Our dream playground” – a motto that enabled the children to be as creative as they wished. There was, however, one condition: their artwork had to be made out of the contents of their paper and recycling bins.

Comprehensive teaching material

  • There was more to this competition than simply having fun: “Besides promoting an interest in art, we also wanted to teach the kids about the environment. It is so important nowadays to make young children more aware about subjects such as conserving our planet’s natural resources and recycling,” explained Stefan Jonic, managing director of WBL. All the classes had been provided with the ‘RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS’ teaching material beforehand to prepare the children for their task. This collection of worksheets, teacher’s book and parents’ letter was put together by REMONDIS and experienced teaching specialists and is a fun way for pupils to learn about how to separate recyclables correctly.

A prize for the best artwork

  • By the end of the competition, therefore, the children had not only made some impressive sculptures – as great examples of recycling – they had also learned a lot about the environment and the climate. “The kids really got into the competition and loved coming up with ideas about what they could do with the waste.” commented Helene Berkenheger, class teacher (3c) at the ‘am Lüserbach’ primary school.

    The RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS act as a magnet for all children. Info about the educational theatre shows, teaching materials and teaching materials and events can be found at wertstoffprofis.de

    The works of art were judged by a jury of experts made up of Peter Freudenthal, Förderverein für Kunst und Kultur Lünen e.V. [arts association], Horst Müller-Baß, Lünen town councillor, Marie Hirschberg, an art expert from Lünen, Friedhelm Susok, the RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS presenter, and Carina Hölscher, PR & marketing officer at REMONDIS. All of the participants were then invited to attend a special ceremony held in the Hansesaal [Hansa Hall] in Lünen on 01 July. Jürgen Kleine-Frauns, mayor of Lünen and patron of the competition, praised the contest before presenting a €1,000 cheque and a voucher for a RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS theatre show to the lucky winners: class 3a of the Kardinal-von-Galen-Schule and their teacher Nicola Rother for their “haunted playground”.

    Left: The RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS entertained the approx. 300 children taking part in the competition with their educational theatre show
    Right: Friedhelm Susok, RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS, Jürgen Kleine-Frauns, Mayor of Lünen and patron of the competition, Carina Hölscher, RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS Project Manager, and Stefan Jonic, Managing Director of WBL, at the awards ceremony in Lünen’s Hansesaal

No-one came away empty-handed

    • No one went home empty handed though. All of the children were given a present to remind them of the competition and all they had learned. “I’m sure that they will separate their recyclables better now – both at home and in their schools – as they have learned just how important it is to recycle and tackle the problem of climate change,” Stefan Jonic said summing up the event.

      Above: The winning work of art: the haunted playground created by class 3a (Kardinal-von-Galen-Schule)
      Below: The jury (from left to right): Peter Freudenthal, Förderverein Kunst & Kultur [arts association], Friedhelm Susok, RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS, Carina Hölscher, REMONDIS, Marie Hirschberg, Horst Müller-Baß, Lünen Town Councillor, appraising the works of art

THE RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS – a REMONDIS educational project

You’re never too young to learn. Which is why REMONDIS has developed its RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS educational project specifically for kindergartens and schools to make children and teenagers more aware about the need to conserve our planet’s natural resources. The goal behind this project is to make it clear that waste is not really waste but a mixture of valuable raw materials which can be recycled. And that everyone can help to recover these valuable materials so they can be reused, simply by separating their waste correctly in their homes. This educational project includes a range of age-related teaching materials for schools and kindergartens, a free educational theatre show as well as the ‘RECYCLING PROFESSIONALS on Tour’ event.

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