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  • Dear Readers!

    “We are made wise not by the recollection of our past but by the responsibility for our future.” This piece of wisdom was uttered by the great Irish author George Bernard Shaw and it would certainly appear to be true looking at the challenges that humans are having to face today: the need to protect the environment and prevent climate change, to supply sufficient quantities of food and raw materials but to conserve our planet’s natural resources at the same time. Taking on responsibility for the future means nothing less than acting and doing business in a responsible way today so that future generations have a world that they are able to live in. Being a family-run company that is committed to sustainability in each and every sector it operates in, this is exactly what we intend to do. We have, therefore, added a new slogan to reflect this mission:
    From now on, the REMONDIS logo will appear together with the strapline ‘Working for the future’. This is not some empty promise: every day, the 30,000+ people working for REMONDIS prove this is the case by collecting, sorting and processing recyclables, by ensuring our soils are clean and full of nutrients, by supplying water and treating wastewater, by generating sustainable biogas and energy and by carrying out joint public-private sector work to keep cities clean and roads safe. REMONDIS is, therefore, working for the future right now so that our children and their descendants have urban areas and indeed a planet that are worth living in. The present gives us the opportunity to change – and change is definitely what is needed if we wish to shape the future.

    One example in the Netherlands clearly shows that our neighbours are also thinking of the future. When a Dutch municipal company sells all its commercial activities to REMONDIS, it is certainly worth asking why they decided to do this. In an interview with REMONDIS aktuell, ROVA managing director Hans Groenhuis explains how European public procurement law determines whether a company can be awarded an “in-house contract” and why it is advisable for local authorities throughout Europe to think about giving up their commercial activities altogether.

    Just how satisfied are our public sector customers and what can REMONDIS do to further improve the way it supports local authorities to provide public services? We wanted to hear details here and so we asked them. The results of the customer survey, which was carried out by an independent institute on behalf of REMONDIS, are both encouraging and an incentive at the same time. It is certainly good news when not only our regular customers express their great satisfaction with the company but also the overwhelming majority of our past customers who could well imagine working together with REMONDIS again in the future. We will not, however, be sitting back on our laurels. There is always room for improvement when it comes to serving local inhabitants. REMONDIS will be doing everything in its power to optimise its portfolio and to provide both its contractual partners and those receiving its services with the best possible solutions at fair and favourable conditions. Working for people. Working for the future. 

    I hope you enjoy reading this edition of REMONDIS aktuell.

    Thomas Conzendorf 

Top priority given to preventing emissions

  • Chlorofluorocarbons – often referred to simply as CFCs – have got a pretty bad reputation and are most well known for depleting the ozone layer. They also, however, have the same effect as greenhouse gases and contribute towards global warming. When disposing of refrigerants, therefore, top priority must be given to preventing CFCs from being released into the atmosphere and to removing and destroying this class of compounds in a safe and controlled manner. REMONDIS Industrie Service has built up a special division called RENOX which offers a range of services and focuses on managing the disposal of special chemicals such as CFCs using legally compliant and environmentally friendly methods.

  • Moving away from using CFCs

    Of all the greenhouse gases, the most important chlorofluorocarbons originate purely from human activity and have been used for a wide variety of industrial applications since the 1930s. They are used as a propellant gas in aerosol cans, as a blowing agent for foam, as a refrigerant in fridges, freezer cabinets, air conditioning systems and cooling devices and as a cleaning agent for textiles and sensitive elements in the electronics industry. 

    Many old fridges still contain CFCs which are so damaging to our climate. It is essential, therefore, that these appliances are dismantled professionally

    The foundations for a road map leading to the end of the use of CFCs were set out in a number of international agreements in the 80s and 90s. As a result, EC Regulation 2037/2000 stipulates, for example, that cooling devices using R22 refrigerants and mixtures of such refrigerants may no longer be used from 01 January 2015. Other refrigerants will follow in the next few years.

Waste managed exclusively by specialists

All this will have an extensive effect on the areas of our life that involve “cooling”. Discussions, for example, are being held on what type of refrigerant should be added to car air conditioning systems in the future and how the refrigerants currently used in vehicles can be professionally removed and destroyed. One thing that is clear is that removing and destroying refrigerants such as CFCs – also in mixtures with inflammable gases – involve considerable risks and must only be carried out by professional companies with the relevant levels of expertise. This has been laid down in the ‘ChemOzonSchichtV’ (ordinance on ozone-depleting chemicals) and the ‘ChemKlimaschutzV’ (chemicals / climate protection ordinance) as well as in the relevant EU directives.

The specialist RENOX division

REMONDIS Industrie Service has extensive experience of handling hazardous materials. For a number of years now, it has been operating a special division called RENOX which deals exclusively with special chemicals that are generated as industrial waste and need to be treated with extra special care due to their dangerous nature, reactivity and toxicity. The division’s portfolio of services covers three different areas. ‘RENOX Transport’ is responsible for all aspects of transporting the substances safely from the customers’ to the disposal plants. ‘RENOX Treatment’ deals with the chemical physical treatment phase. And, finally, ‘RENOX Direct Incineration’ operates the area of business involving the hazardous waste incineration plants where the materials are fed directly into the furnaces via barrel elevators and connecting systems for liquid and gaseous substances. Thanks to the type of high-temperature incineration plant used, which is run at a minimum temperature of 1,100°C, materials with a longer reaction time can safely react without any problems. This is also true for the various types of CFCs which are collected in special containers and then carefully connected to the high temperature incineration system at the company’s Bramsche Industrial Recycling Centre. As a result, the refrigerants are completely destroyed so there is no chance whatsoever of them damaging the environment.

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