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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

Playing a vital role in supplying drinking water

The Tettau waterworks, situated in the south of the German state of Brandenburg, has been playing a vital role in supplying the Lausitz region with drinking water since 1955. The raw water is extracted from the ‘Lausitzer Urstromtal’ valley and processed into drinking water for the waterworks’ 80,000+ customers, who are both local residents as well as industrial and commercial businesses. REMONDIS Aqua’s subsidiary Wasserverband Lausitz Betriebsführungs GmbH (WAL-Betrieb), which has been responsible for the plant since 2006, has now extended the capacity of the waterworks in response to changes to the region’s water network – caused in particular by LEAG, Lausitz Energie Bergbau AG, shutting down its water supply services.

Politicians and business leaders invited to the event

  • The new facility was officially opened during a special cere- mony that was attended by a large number of politicians and business leaders including Norbert Rethmann, honorary chairman of the supervisory board of the RETHMANN Group. “Right from the start, we have ensured that the Tettau waterworks provides a reliable supply of drinking water. By extending the facility, we are now able to produce even more top quality water every year,” commented both WAL-Betrieb managing directors, Stefan Voß and Thomas Fürl.

    • Robert Ristow, Managing Director of EURAWASSER GmbH & Co. KG, Dr Roland Socher, Chairman of the Lausitz Water Association, Norbert Rethmann, Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the RETHMANN Group, and Andreas Bankamp, Managing Director of REMONDIS Aqua GmbH, at the official opening ceremony in Tettau

  • “This official opening makes it very clear just how big the Tettau waterworks is. I would use the following analogy to demonstrate its size: the amount of water that it produces every day could fill one of our regional swimming pools at least 50 times over.”

    Kersten Sickert, Chairman of the Association Meeting and Director of the Ortrand Department

Far more efficient than before

An in-house work group made up of WAL and WAL-Betrieb employees had begun planning the extension work back in 2014. As a result, the cost of building the new facility was much lower than anticipated. 50% less surface area, fewer internal pipes and half the energy consumption are now needed to ensure large parts of the Lausitz region will have all the drinking water they need over the coming decades.

  • “This official opening represents yet another milestone of the longstanding and successful partnership between the Lausitz Water Association and REMONDIS Aqua. Making the most of the experience gathered from the existing facilities, we have succeeded in extending the waterworks by 20,000m³ in a most efficient and cost effective way, almost doubling the plant’s capacity.”

    Dr Roland Socher, Chairman of the Lausitz Water Association and head of the in-house waterworks extension planning group

Brandenburg’s largest waterworks certainly has an interesting history:

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