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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

Part of the network for two decades now

The fact that the people living in Schwerin are able to access such high quality drinking water – their most important foodstuff – is a science of its own and it is the task of Wasserversorgungs- und Abwasserentsorgungsgesellschaft or WAG (a REMONDIS Aqua joint venture) to do just this. The town’s public drinking water network was established 129 years ago and the Mühlenscharrn waterworks 20 years ago. The company decided to hold a special event to celebrate both these dates – organising an Open Day that was attended by WAG employees, local politicians and business leaders as well as many local residents.

A look behind the scenes

  • On 5th June, World Environment Day, people from across the city of Schwerin were able to take a look behind the scenes to see how their top quality drinking water supply network actually works. With temperatures reaching 34°C on that day, the event attracted large numbers of visitors who not only enjoyed the tours around the waterworks but also appreciated the cooler temperatures inside the plant. A special educational trail had also been set up for the young guests to teach them more about the water cycle.

    • (from left to right) Bernd Nottebaum, Head of the City’s Business, Planning and Regulatory Department, and WAG Managing Directors, Beate Bürger and Hanno Nispel, were pleased that the Open Day at the Mühlenscharrn Waterworks was such a success

Also prepared for periods of peak demand

WAG’s managing directors, Beate Bürger and Hanno Nispel, made the most of this opportunity to mingle with their guests and answer any questions the local residents and colleagues had for them. These two people are responsible for ensuring that the network’s fourteen wells and storage tanks (capacity: 13,500m³) are able to cover the town’s drinking water requirements even in times of drought. “Together the two waterworks have a capacity of 30,000m³,” Hanno Nispel explained. This means that there are always sufficient drinking water reserves available.

He himself experienced the highest demand ever last year – on 25th July 2018 to be precise – when 22,000m³ were consumed by those living and working in and around Schwerin. “Thanks to our experienced staff, technological set-up and drinking water protected areas, our network will always be able to provide top quality drinking water to the people of Schwerin, no matter how much they need,” he continued taking a confident look into the future.

A look back at Schwerin’s drinking water supply network

    • Neumühle waterworks
      Schwerin’s first ever drinking water production plant (decommissioned)

    • Gosewinkel waterworks
      (decommissioned)

    • Pinnow waterworks
      (in operation)

    • Mühlenscharrn waterworks 
      (in operation)

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