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  • Dear Readers!

    At the beginning of December, delegates from 195 UN member states and the EU travelled to Paris to try and find a compromise to curb global warming – a compromise which all countries should then honour. Their primary goal has been to find a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol which ends in 2020. They had not reached the end of their deliberations when this magazine went to print but one thing has become very clear: the significance of the recycling industry as a means to preventing climate change continues to be underestimated. And yet there are so many excellent examples that demonstrate how sending waste for materials recycling not only protects our environment and conserves our dwindling supplies of natural resources but also helps to curb global warming. REMONDIS’ Lippe Plant in Lünen reduces emissions of CO2 equivalents by almost half a million tonnes every year by recycling waste and producing regenerative energy. And this is just one plant in REMONDIS’ network of approx. 500 facilities. If the whole world were to use the full potential of the raw materials and energy hidden in waste, then recycling would put an end to global warming. Logically, Klima Expo.NRW has accepted three more of REMONDIS’ areas of expertise onto its list of qualified projects following the nomination of its biogas plant in Coesfeld at the beginning of the year. These and other recycling plants and projects will help to spread the message that recycling has a long list of advantages and is one of the best ways to counteract climate change.  

    Recycled paper is one of these raw materials that can help curb global warming: it can be used as a substitute for paper made from virgin fibres and so help reduce the need to fell our trees. The following figures clearly demonstrate that sustainable forest management is not at the top of every country’s list. We are currently losing around 13 million hectares or 130,000km² of forest every single year. That is the equivalent to a forest the size of England being cut down every year. Forests are an effective way of preventing climate change as each and every tree absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. Paper recycling helps protect our forests and probably has the biggest impact on the carbon footprint of our informed society which still turns to paper formats as their main source of information despite the presence of the Internet. REMONDIS provides the paper industry with huge supplies of high quality recycled paper, helping the sector to become more sustainable.

    Sustainability, however, starts before recycling is actually needed. The European Waste Framework Directive puts re-use in second place after waste prevention and ahead of materials recycling. It is, therefore, a logical decision for Daimler, REMONDIS and a number of other partners to set up the world’s largest second use battery storage unit made from used lithium-ion batteries at the Lippe Plant. The batteries, which will come from the growing number of electric cars, still have 90 % of their storage capacity after they can no longer be used in the vehicles – more than enough to help stabilise the grid as more and more electricity is provided by fluctuating regenerative energy sources. After approx.10 years use in this battery storage unit, the batteries can then be sent for efficient materials recycling – perfectly closing the life cycle of this product.

    We would like to thank all our friends, partners and employees for their goodwill and loyalty throughout the past year and wish them a very happy Christmas and all the very best for the New Year. 

    Yours

    Max Koettgen

  • REMONDIS has many plants in and around Berlin

    REMONDIS’ operations in the Berlin district of Neukölln began back in 1995 when the company set up two recycling plants there. One of these facilities is still being used today as a secure data destruction centre. The second plant was, at the time, the first dismantling centre for treating cooling appliances and e-waste. Other company units have been relocated to Neukölln over the years, including a photographic film recycling facility in 2002. A new paper sorting plant was commissioned in 2012 and has been responsible since then for recovering and recycling old paper from the Greater Berlin region so that it can be returned to production processes – making an important contribution towards preventing climate change. During a visit to the site, Borough Mayor Dr Franziska Giffey and Lutz Wedegärtner, a managing director at REMONDIS, took a look back at the facility’s successful track record over the last three years.

    The sorting plant in Berlin is one of the most modern of its kind in Europe

  • Every year, the paper recycling operations reduce carbon emissions by over 75,000 tonnes

120,000 tonnes of old paper treated every year

Since it was set up in 1995, REMONDIS’ Neukölln site has become of the most important industrial recycling centres in Germany thanks to its state-of-the-art recycling facilities. In 2011, REMONDIS and Berlin Recycling, a fully owned subsidiary of BSR, founded the joint venture “Wertstoff-Union Berlin GmbH” which then invested 10 million euros to build Germany’s most modern paper sorting facility at the Lahnstraße location in Neukölln. Since then, 20 new jobs have been created. Using a two-shift system, the plant is able to sort 120,000 tonnes of waste paper every year to supply the paper industry with high grade products. The waste paper comes from commercial businesses, retailers, industrial firms and private households. The volume of paper processed is more or less equivalent to the amount of paper that could be produced by using all the trees in the Grunewald forest near Berlin. All in all, these paper recycling operations reduce carbon emissions by over 75,000 tonnes.

  • A win-win situation for the environment and the economy

    During her visit to the site in October, Borough Mayor Dr Franziska Giffey underlined just how important the operations were as they created a win-win situation for the environment and for the regional economy as a whole: “We are proud to have REMONDIS and its modern, innovative and sustainable business in our district, which not only has a positive impact on Neukölln but on the whole of Berlin. 60 % of the paper generated in Berlin is sorted here at the Neukölln site and then returned to production cycles. The facility has not only generated new jobs, it is also helping to protect the environment.”

    REMONDIS: 20 years in Berlin-Neukölln – a success story for the city, the local inhabitants and the environment.

    Further investments have been made at the site since the paper sorting facility began operations. A new WEEE dismantling centre will soon be commissioned. REMONDIS’ Berlin-Neukölln industrial park employs a total of 500 people, whose everyday work is helping Berlin and the surrounding districts to achieve their sustainability goals.

    (from left to right) Clemens Mücke, responsible for promoting trade and industry in Berlin, Lutz Wedegärtner, Managing Director at REMONDIS, Borough Mayor Dr Franziska Giffey and Martin Aweh, Branch Manager at Rhenus Data Office, during a tour of the Lahnstraße site in Berlin Neukölln

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