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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 

WEEELABEX enables comparisons to be made

  • The WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) recycling sector in Europe is to be harmonised – and at a high level. WEEELABEX is one of the leading systems aiming to achieve these stringent standards. For the first time ever, it has provided guidelines that enable the quality of recycling processes to be compared and evaluated. Working together with the Dutch take-back system Wecycle, a system well known for its extremely high standards, REMONDIS Electrorecycling is one of the first companies to implement WEEELABEX into its business underlining its pioneering role in Europe.

Recycling companies must step up to the mark

  • Very few industries are as fast moving as the electronics sector. Innovations are being brought out thick and fast with the result that older devices are being exchanged for new ones within ever shorter periods of time. It is, therefore, extremely important that recycling companies provide professional services to recover the recyclable materials in the equipment and safely remove any hazardous substances. Despite the WEEE Directive, however, there are still great differences in quality in the methods being used to recycle such devices. Such differences should now become a thing of the past. With the financial support of the European Commission, standards have been drawn up that aim to create a uniform, high quality basis for WEEE recycling. Called WEEE Label of Excellence or simply WEEELABEX, it sets standards regarding the collection, logistics and treatment of old devices. WEEELABEX was developed by the WEEE Forum, a not-for-profit, multi-national centre of competence for WEEE recycling made up of around 40 European collection and  recycling systems. As part of this project, the Forum members gathered together expertise and studies from across the whole of Europe to compile “best-of-class” standards.

    WEEELABEX stands for ‘WEEE Label of Excellence’

WEEE recycling is worth its weight in gold – among other things

    • Gold
      Not just for producing valuable jewellery – gold is an indispensable material for modern electronics. Up to 22mg can be found in each and every mobile

    • Copper
      500 tonnes of ore and a great deal of electricity are needed to produce one tonne of copper with a purity level of 99.99 percent. Alternatively, 10 tonnes of WEEE are enough to produce the same amount

    • Aluminium
      Extremely high levels of energy are required to produce aluminium from bauxite. This process is, therefore, bad for the climate. Around 40 times less energy is needed to recover aluminium from WEEE

Test phase and audits successfully completed

  • REMONDIS Electrorecycling is one of the first companies in Europe which is able to provide proof that it operates according to the WEEELABEX principles. The company is a member of the pre-group, i.e. the group of firms where tests were carried out to see if the strict standards are actually feasible in practice. The tests were performed at the company’s dismantling centre in Lünen, one of the most modern of its kind in Europe with an annual capacity of approx. 100,000 tonnes. 

    It became clear during the test phase that the WEEE recycling processes being used by REMONDIS were, for the most part, in line with WEEELABEX. In addition, REMONDIS extended its data collection and reporting systems over the following months. Now, for example, detailed information is also recorded about the technology used in the secondary treatment phases and comprehensive documents drawn up on the composition of the materials. In the meantime, official audits have been carried out confirming that REMONDIS fulfils the high WEEELABEX standards. As a result, it is one of the first European companies to have received a pre-certificate to this effect.

  • In order to ensure waste electrical and electronic equipment is handled responsibly, WEEELABEX covers three specific areas: collection, logistics and treatment

Complementing the WEEE Directive

  • One specific feature of WEEELABEX is that priority has been put on compiling exact instructions about work processes and methods. Consequently, it goes into very precise details about the recycling of the different categories of equipment and sets very specific requirements. The WEEELABEX rules, therefore, concentrate on the operational side of the business, whilst the WEEE Directive primarily deals with the legal framework. At present, companies are free to choose whether they wish to implement the stringent WEEELABEX rules or not.

    Recycling companies must undergo certification and repeat audits to prove that their everyday operations fulfil regulations.

    Efforts are being made at the moment, however, to give them a more legally binding orientation in order to raise their importance. To achieve this, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) is transforming these standards into official EN norms.

Proof of quality an advantage for customers

  • Not only European WEEE recycling will reach new levels of quality thanks to WEEELABEX. There are advantages for customers, too. They can explicitly call for such recycling standards when putting projects out to tender and so can be sure that those bidding are able to offer the same high standard of recycling. As a result, bidding processes will become far more transparent and it will be easier to compare the services offered by the different companies.

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