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  • Dear Readers!

    Once again another successful year is drawing to a close for our family-run company. This sentence, or one similar, can be read really quite often. In our case, a look back at the editorial of our 2018 Christmas issue might bring on a smile. Exactly one year ago, we spoke of the great business opportunities in both the recycling industry and the transport sector. At the time, we wrote in our editorial: “We have been able to make the most of these opportunities by taking steps to acquire DSD – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (and to purchase shares in Transdev). Both transactions must still be approved by the relevant authorities.”

    As we know today, twelve months on, the acquisition of shares in the Transdev Group worked out perfectly while the other – DSD – has, at least for the time being, been blocked by the German monopolies commission. Having assessed the packaging recycling market last year, we believed that DSD did not have a dominant market position – something that has been further underlined by the latest developments. The customer structure within the Dual System has changed dramatically since the Schwarz Group became, practically overnight, one of the five largest recycling companies after taking over Tönsmeier and expanding into the packaging market with its renamed firm, PreZero. REWE, one of the three biggest distributors of sales packaging in Germany, has changed its Dual System provider and moved to Reclay. And, on 19 November, a press release was published in the media that Aldi has also changed its provider and is now licensing its packaging with Interseroh instead of DSD. It will be interesting to see if and to what extent these latest developments will impact on the Regional Appeal Court’s ruling.

    Looking at the world of politics, 2019 has ended with the German government bringing out a concrete climate action package. The recycling industry, which has played a major – if not decisive – role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions since the introduction of the TaSi [Technical Directive on the Recycling, Treatment and Disposal of Municipal Waste] in 2005, is rubbing its eyes in disbelief having read the 22 pages. A mere 16 lines have been devoted to our industry. Perhaps they are already simply taking the positive impact we have on tackling climate change for granted? It is probably more likely that they continue to underestimate the potential of recycling to combat climate change. And there is still so much unused potential. Were the substitution rate, i.e. the share of recycled raw materials used in industrial production processes, to be doubled from the current 15% to 30%, then this alone would lead to emissions of CO2 equivalents being cut by around 60 million tonnes. The fact remains that comprehensive recycling measures will enable the climate goals to be met. Indeed, REMONDIS shows that this is possible every single day.

    With this optimistic outlook, I would like to thank you all for your great support and collaboration over the last twelve months. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful 2020.

    Yours Ludger Rethmann

A high percentage of recycled aggregate

  • The government-supported project to extend the North Container Terminal in Cologne for transhipping goods between rail and road began in the spring of last year on behalf of Häfen- und Güterverkehr Köln AG (HGK). Around 75% of the 76,000 tonnes of aggregate needed was covered by recycled aggregate. This, plus the fact that B+R, the supplier of this material, was located so close to the site, has made the undertaking a showcase project for the whole of the logistics sector – both for reducing carbon emissions and for demonstrating sustainable procurement practices.

High requirements regarding the subsurface

The actual construction work involved building more than 8,000m² container storage space, ca. 22,000m² roads, 2,735m railway tracks and 7 railroad switches as well as crane rails built on bored piles for two cranes. “One of the special features of this project was the extremely high requirements regarding the subsurface. It must be able to cope with very heavy loads as around ten trains a day will be loading and unloading containers there in the future,” explained senior site manager Fabian Kronenberger from Schnorpfeil, the firm carrying out the work.

All in all, B+R Köln supplied 56,000t recycled aggregate, 17,500t natural aggregate and ca. 2,500t top soil.

The spotlight was also turned on the subject of sustainability when selecting the materials: “As the subsurface will be covered in concrete and/or tarmac and the site is not in a water protection zone, it made sense to deploy recycled aggregate – both from a business as well as from an environmental point of view as this helps conserve natural resources,” Fabian Kronenberger continued. Another even more compelling argument was that this material is just as good if not better than natural aggregate.

  • In the future, 130,000 loading units or 208,000 standard containers will be handled at the new terminal

Contract awarded to REMEX’s firm B+R

In the end, B+R Köln beat the other companies looking to win the project because it was not only in a position to supply all the primary and secondary aggregate required, it was also able to handle the excavated earth. “We had supplied the first loads of aggregate within just 14 days of being awarded the contract. Our recycling plant is a mere 500m away from the site – as the crow flies. This means, of course, that we are perfectly placed to provide just-in-time deliveries,” said Frank Grasmehr, managing director of B+R in Cologne. The recycled aggregate has been used in a number of sections, for example for the frost blanket and gravel subgrade under the roads, paths and container storage areas.

  • Having used over 75% of recycled aggregate, the extension of the terminal has become a showcase project for the logistics sector

“One of the special features of this project was the
extremely high requirements regarding the subsurface.”

Fabian Kronenberger, Senior Site Manager Schnorpfeil

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