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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. 


    Max Koettgen

Celebration of successful collaboration work

REMONDIS Aqua has been collaborating with the municipal utilities company, Stadtwerke Gemünden am Main, since 2005 – working as its private sector partner responsible for the technical operations of the city’s wastewater facilities. The partners used the public private partnership’s ten-year anniversary to sum up their successful collaboration and take a look at their future work together.

Well known for stable charges and high levels of efficiency

Representatives of the utilities company and REMONDIS Aqua travelled to the Gemünden central sewage treatment plant in October to celebrate the successful work carried out by the public private partnership over the last ten years. They were joined by guests from the worlds of business and politics including Thomas Schiebel, district administrator of the Main-Spessart district, and Mayor Jürgen Lippert.

REMONDIS Aqua’s role in the public private partnership with the Gemünden utilities company includes operating the central sewage treatment plant and the approx. 120km sewage network.

The Gemünden central sewage treatment plant serves over 12,000 local residents living in 13 different districts. REMONDIS Aqua is responsible for the technical operations of the plant which was built with REMONDIS’ help to replace five smaller sewage treatment plants located around the region. Thanks to this modern facility, the wastewater produced by the city and neighbouring districts has been able to be treated far more efficiently helping to keep wastewater charges stable.

  • ”Gemünden is a great example of how mutual trust can create the basis for long-term, successful collaboration work.“

    Michael Figge, Area Manager at REMONDIS Aqua

State-of-the-art technology

  • The Gemünden utilities company and REMONDIS Aqua joined forces to create a sustainable business – as always working for the future. Both partners decided right at the start that state-of-the-art technology should be deployed at the central sewage treatment plant. The ten-year anniversary celebrations, therefore, were also used to present the TetraPhos© system, a process developed and patented by REMONDIS Aqua which enables phosphoric acid to be recovered from sewage sludge ash.

    • A milestone well worth celebrating: Thomas Schiebel, district administrator of the Main-Spessart district (left), presenting Henry Bürgermeister, plant manager of REMONDIS Aqua Gemünden, with a gift basket

Sewage treatment plants: a source of raw materials

REMONDIS Aqua has been looking into ways of recovering phosphorus for many years now. Their goal is not only to use the phosphorus to make fertilisers but – and above all – to produce valuable phosphates for industrial businesses. Their innovative TetraPhos© process enables high quality phosphoric acid to be recovered from sewage sludge ash. This acid is an important source material for producing phosphorus compounds which can, in turn, be used to manufacture a whole range of different products.

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