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  • Dear Readers!

    There is good cause for celebration! 30 years of a unified Germany. Or perhaps we should say: ‘30 years of working on a unified Germany’? Seen from a historical perspective, it is certainly true to say that the reunification process has not yet been completed. In fact, looking at Germany’s history, you might well be excused for thinking that this process will never be completed. Each individual region has its own cultural peculiarities, its own dialect, its own sensibilities, its own breed of people. And, of course, their traditional dishes are worlds apart from each other. But that’s the way it should be as it is the differences that create a strong dynamic for change and enrich our culture and economy. Having said all that, we are still quite a young nation. Germany really hasn’t been around that long. Our country – as a federation of states – did not come into being until almost 100 years after the United States of America was founded. And we are all well aware that they are still working hard on unifying their nation.

    We are very grateful that our family-run business has been able to play a constructive role in shaping the reunification process from the start. While criticism continues to be directed towards the Treuhand (the agency responsible for privatising the former East German enterprises) for the way it acted – its focus was often on processing rather than developing – our aim has always been on finding robust, future-oriented solutions by working closely on the ground with the different city and regional authorities. The results speak for themselves – whether it be in the Lausitz region where our public private joint venture WAL Betrieb provides water management services and has kept fees and charges stable and jobs secure for decades now despite the region’s declining population; or in Schwerin, where the public private partnership between the city and REMONDIS has been hugely successful at delivering key services cost effectively. And these are just two examples of many. It was – and continues to be – the amazing personal dedication of the company’s employees in the regions that made it possible for REMONDIS to become a local east German family-run business in these new areas after the wall fell. What’s more, some of the family moved from the Westphalian town of Selm to make their home in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – but this just as a side note. Unity requires active commitment, as does sustainable development. REMONDIS is dedicated to both, always working with the future in mind.

    One thing is certain: there are a lot of things still – or once again – to be done. The recession brought on by Covid-19 is having a dramatic impact on the finances of local authorities. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the cities and districts faced a shortfall of 9.7 billion euros in the first six months of this year. As a comparison: the deficit amounted to just 0.3 billion euros a year ago. The reason for this negative trend was the drastic fall in revenue received by local governments in the second quarter of 2020. The German economy nosedived by 9.7% between April and June – the first time it has ever had to face such a huge drop. Yet another reason then for thinking about how the pressure can be taken off local governments in the future. They don’t have to do everything by themselves – the private sector is happy to help. Public private partnerships are a robust solution for delivering cost-intensive essential services, such as waste management and water management tasks. I and Professor Michael Schäfer, retired professor of public sector economics at the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, illustrate this very clearly with the help of many examples in one of the books we co-authored – and we don’t forget to mention the negative examples either. As everyone knows, people learn from their mistakes so they can do a better job in the future. And this is precisely what we are doing together with our friends and partners in the not so new states in the east of Germany, in Europe and across the world.

    We hope you enjoy reading this latest issue. Stay safe!

    Yours

    Ludger Rethmann

In the region since 2011

Having well-functioning collection systems in place is the first step towards having an effective circular economy. REMONDIS has repeatedly shown over the years how the combination of international know-how and local expertise can drive success in a very short period of time. One of the latest examples of such collaboration work can be found in the Republic of Mordovia in the Volga Region.

Having been operating in Mordovia since 2011, REMONDIS was given the task of collecting municipal waste for a total of 800,000 local inhabitants at the beginning of 2018. With the majority of the people living in rural areas, the biggest challenge for the company here was to set up a waste collection system from scratch. By the beginning of 2020, 374 villages with 700,000 residents in all had joined the new system.

  • REMONDIS has been operating in the Republic of Mordovia since 2011 and is responsible for managing and recycling municipal waste for a total of

Comprehensive network almost completed

  • Two further steps have been achieved this year with 32 villages (7,500 residents) becoming part of the scheme in May and 152 rural districts with a further 22,500 residents joining the network in September. This task, therefore, of setting up a comprehensive refuse collection system will soon have been successfully completed. But that’s not all: REMONDIS’ plans for next year include building a new refuse pre-treatment plant to close the loop.

    Collecting residual waste in the District of Sivin

Praise from the local press

A reliable waste collection service is particularly important during a pandemic. REMONDIS is providing just such a service in Mordovia as well – and has been praised by the local press for its work.

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