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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

Checking out recycling opportunities

When a plane has been permanently grounded, it does not mean that all of its parts have become obsolete. On the contrary, there are many components that can still be used: the landing gear, engines, navigation and communication instruments and many other pieces can be removed, carefully checked and, if they pass the test, given a certificate allowing them to be used as spare parts. However, at the end of the process, there are still large volumes of metal and recyclable materials left over. Which was why TSR took a closer look at the possibilities of recycling and marketing these materials when two A340 Airbuses were dismantled recently.

Transporting the planes was a challenge

  • To be able to do this work, TSR Recycling GmbH not only had several different departments working on the project, it also collaborated with REMONDIS and the airplane recycler MoreAero. The long-term goal here is clear: to draw up a sustainable and comprehensive plane recycling concept that enables previously unused raw materials to be recovered for reuse. The trickiest part of the project? To transport the two dismantled China Eastern Airbuses from the decommissioned airport in Parchim (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) to TSR’s branch in Hamburg.

    With old planes normally being sent to businesses abroad where they are scavenged for spare parts, it has been practically impossible to recover the unused raw materials.

    “We’re really pleased to have had MoreAero’s help here as they’re so experienced and know about and meet all the red tape requirements affecting companies working in airline operations,” commented André Zick, TSR branch manager (2. Hafenstraße) in Hamburg. With old planes normally being sent to businesses abroad where they are scavenged for spare parts, it has been practically impossible to recover the unused raw materials. The second challenge: the manufacturers do not provide information about what, where or how many materials and hazardous substances have been installed in the planes.

130 tonnes of aluminium were recovered

    • The stages needed after this – such as shredding and recycling the materials – are normal everyday work for TSR and REMONDIS. “We were able, for example, to recover around 130 tonnes of aluminium from the planes. REMONDIS took over the task of recycling the other substances such as plastics, mineral fibres and operating materials,” explained Dr Sebastian Jeanvré, project engineer at TSR in Lünen. Tim Wilms, project manager and key account manager at TSR, summed up the project: “Dismantling airplanes is a really exciting subject as far as we’re concerned. It would allow us to enter a new and innovative field and enable us to recover raw materials so they can be reused. We would also be filling an important niche market in Germany. Such projects are also a great way to learn more about the different models of airplane and the type and quality of materials used to make them and a useful opportunity for us to sound out the potential of this business,” he added.

    • The dismantling of the two A340 Airbuses at the decommissioned airport in Parchim was a cross-div-isional and cross-company project for both TSR and REMONDIS

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