REMONDIS Newsletter

REMONDIS Service International GmbH
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Dear Reader,

With multiple continents grappling with extreme heat, seas and oceans at record-high temperatures and wildfires raging out of control, it is clear that the climate crisis is escalating. However, harnessing the power of technological advancements and fostering a culture of innovation can help us to forge a path towards a more sustainable and resilient future. Innovative solutions, like those we are rolling out at REMONDIS, have the potential to mitigate the harmful effects of human activities on the environment and create a more harmonious relationship between society and nature, shaping a future where resource conservation and environmental stewardship are essential parts of our daily lives.

In this issue of the REMONDIS International Newsletter, you read more about some of the ways we are driving innovation in order to recycle more, close the loop and make transportation cleaner and greener. It is my hope that each small action that we are taking will add up to a real and tangible impact on our environment and climate and inspire others to join us on this journey.

Happy reading!

Egbert Tölle

A milestone on the road towards a complete circular economy

Above left: A bird's eye view of the plant in Hovmantorp, Sweden | Above right: the new fractionation and grinding line will improve purity.

The future is bright for lightbulb and fluorescent tube recycling in Europe, thanks to a new REMONDIS pre-treatment plant. The plant will be located in Hovmantorp, southern Sweden, and serve as the only facility of its kind in northern Europe. Today, the site receives 3 tonnes per hour of lightbulbs and fluorescent tubes. Starting in August, a new fractionation and grinding line will come online that consists of a metal separator, plastic separator and mill for grinding glass with an hourly capacity of 4.75 tonnes.

Right: The new plant also includes glass grinding technology.

The process starts by crushing lightbulbs and tubes in an enclosed system and washing this material in a liquid that oxidises and binds mercury. Light powder and mercury are released from the liquid and stored in closed tanks. LED lamps are treated using the same process, which yields 75-80% crushed glass, about 10% metal, roughly 10% plastic and ceramics and 1% mercury.

The glass, which is no longer hazardous, is sent for recovery, while the metal, electronic waste, plastic and ceramic fraction is delivered to a scrap recycling plant. The new upgrades allow the plant to produce pure metal and plastic fractions and to grind glass output upon customer request.

These steps will also help to meet EU recycling targets. Learn more about the plant by watching this video.

REMONDIS partnering with local authorities and businesses in the Netherlands

Above left: Employees and passengers will be key in helping Eindhoven Airport achieve a 100 per cent recovery and recycling rate | Above right: Managers put pen to paper on the contract extension.

Recycling and reuse will be flying even higher at Eindhoven Airport soon thanks to an extended partnership with REMONDIS. The airport, whose passenger numbers rebounded from a COVID-related low to reach 6.3 million in 2022, operates flights to 87 destinations. Under the terms of a new seven-year contract, REMONDIS will work with the airport to reuse and recycle all refuse and end incineration by 2030, eliminating CO2 emissions from this practice. To raise recycling at the airport from its 44% rate in 2022, REMONDIS plans to enhance separation at the source and use innovative techniques to reuse or recycle more material, including equipment to turn organic materials into dry compost.

Last year, the airport generated 851 tonnes of refuse, including 583 tonnes of residual refuse. REMONDIS plans to reduce residual refuse volumes by an average of 10% each year through steps to raise awareness and acceptance of reuse and recycling among employees, partners and passengers.

Elsewhere in the Netherlands, the energy group Enexis has chosen REMONDIS as its new material collection, separation and recycling partner on the road towards more sustainable recycling management. Working in partnership with HKS Metals and TSR Recycling, REMONDIS will provide Enexis with safe and reliable refuse collection equipment and transport systems. By working with REMONDIS, Enexis will also be able to process and recycle valuable material streams, such as cables, old iron and PVC, at a high quality, thereby putting them back in the loop.

Below: Partnering with REMONDIS will help the energy firm Enexis to close the loop.

Using artificial intelligence to keep roads and pavements clean

Above: Five sweepers will now be fitted with AI measuring technology in Potsdam, Germany.

REMONDIS is also leveraging innovation to keep communities cleaner. Five sweepers operated by Stadtentsorgung Potsdam (STEP) in the city of Potsdam, Germany, have been upgraded to add an AI-supported measuring system. Cameras integrated into the sweepers will capture littering levels and identify different types of refuse, such as cigarette butts, broken glass and paper. The CORTEXIA measuring system originates in Switzerland and is operated in Germany by REMONDIS Digital. A small sweeper tested the system in Potsdam between September 2022 and March 2023, gathering information about cycle paths and pavements. Adding the AI system to another four sweepers will allow the entire city to be documented all year round and cleaning strategies to be customised accordingly.

“With the new AI-supported system, we are creating a win-win situation for the municipal economy,” explains Mayor Mike Schubert. “Through the on-demand street cleaning that it enables, we can use our resources in such a way that our streets are cleaner overall, while at the same time saving unnecessary effort and costs.” Johannes Schön, Managing Director of REMONDIS Digital, added: “In order to be able to clean cities and municipalities really efficiently, they need to know exactly what dirt accumulates where and when. CORTEXIA offers a unique system for this, which solves this complex task without any significant additional effort.”

Strong demand for deposit return system in Poland

Above: More than 2 million pieces of beverage packaging have been collected in less than three months.

As previously reported, the retail chain Carrefour has been trialling its own deposit return system in 10 shops in the Silesian Voivodship in partnership with EKO-PUNKT (REMONDIS) since January. In less than three months, reverse vending machines have accepted 2 million units of beverage packaging, paying out more than 300,000 zloty to customers in vouchers. The project has already surpassed its highly ambitious goals. More than 75,000 customers have so far taken part in the campaign, which has given a new life to 50 tonnes of plastic material that EKO-Punkt sells to the plastic industry. The Polish Parliament has now passed legislation covering the new deposit scheme as part of the EU Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive. The national law is set to enter into effect on 1 January 2025.   

Carrefour and EKO-Punkt launched the scheme at the beginning of the year. PETfur bottle machines were installed in eight hypermarkets in Sosnowiec, Rybnik, Kędzierzyn Koźle, Jastrzębie Zdrój, Jaworzno, Chorzów, Gliwice and Katowice, as well as in two supermarkets in Pszczyna and Zabrze. Customers can return used beverage packaging, including plastic bottles and aluminium cans, to the machines, which measure and weigh the packaging and print out a voucher that customers can use straightaway to pay for their purchases in the shop.

Sylwester Mroczek, Development Manager at Carrefour Polska, praised the ‘Return and Earn at Carrefour’ awareness-raising and marketing campaign, saying: “Some days there are long queues of people lining up in front of our bottle machines eager to return the packaging. This shows that the deposit system we have proposed responds very well to the needs of all market participants, including the most important link in the market - consumers, on whom its success and effectiveness depend.”

Transdev accelerates in the Americas

Above: Transdev will soon be transporting schoolchildren, patients and commuters, among others, in North America.

The world’s leading mobility firm Transdev is strengthening its foothold in the Americas by adding new contracts, acquisitions and vehicles to its fleet. The group has enjoyed recent success in each of the six countries where it operates there: the United States, Canada, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia and Brazil. "From the North to the South of America, we are continuing our development," stated Thierry Mallet, Chairman and CEO of Transdev. "The wide variety of transportation modes that we deploy there allows us to meet the needs of each local community. It takes the expertise and power of an international group like Transdev to operate large-scale systems. Transdev will continue to share its skills since all over the world, local authorities are facing a dual challenge: shared mobility that must be accessible to all and that must embark on the energy transition.”

In the United States, First Transit, now owned by Transdev, will operate and maintain a bus network in southern Nevada, including the city of Las Vegas, after winning a contract from the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada. With a fleet of more than 400 vehicles and a workforce of nearly 1,500 employees, the network provides more than 40 million trips annually in the southern part of the state. Elsewhere in the US, Transdev has also secured a major paratransit contract in Orlando, Florida.

In Canada, Transdev has unveiled three acquisitions in non-emergency medical and school transportation, along with four urban transportation contracts in Montreal. All of these agreements will see Transdev deliver multimodal services tailored to the specific needs of each community.

Above: South American passengers will soon be able to travel with Transdev underground, on the roads, rails and in the air.

In Ecuador, Transdev is preparing to launch operations at the first metro line in the capital, Quito, in partnership with Metro de Medellín. The country’s first metro line is also the highest in the world! Running at an altitude of 2,850 m in a 22 km tunnel, its 18 trains will serve 15 stations and transport 400,000 passengers daily. The metro line is also a beacon for gender equality, with women making up 50% of the drivers.

In Chile, Transdev has put more than 900 buses on the roads in Santiago, including nearly 260 fully electric buses.

In Colombia, Transdev will test the first hydrogen-powered bus in Latin America. Serving the streets of Bogotá, the bus will run on certified green hydrogen of renewable origin. With a single hydrogen refill in as little as eight minutes, the bus will have a range of 450 km.

In Brazil, line 6 of the São Paulo metro (the Orange Line) will start operating in 2025. This contract includes design, commercial studies and the first three years of operation. The Orange Line is currently the largest Public Private Partnership infrastructure project under development in Latin America.

Delivering sustainable and high-quality raw materials for industry

Above: The new plant significantly increases the amount of recycled material used in steel manufacturing.

In another flagship project, TSR Recycling, which is part of the REMONDIS family, recently opened a new plant that produces TSR40 – a certified, high-quality recycled product that reduces CO2 emissions and cuts consumption of virgin raw materials and energy in steel manufacturing. Located in Duisburg, Germany, the facility allows the steel industry and other steel processing sectors, such as the automotive sector, to significantly raise the amount of recycled material used in steel manufacturing without a loss of quality. The plant can process up to 450,000 tonnes per year of feedstock, such as end-of-life vehicles, mixed scrap and large household appliances, and transform it into the recycled product TSR40. New measuring, detection and separation technologies allow TSR Recycling to identify and remove elements that may disrupt production processes and determine the precise levels of any accompanying elements (e.g. copper, nickel and chromium). TSR Recycling will continue to advance and refine the process together with its project partners VDEh-Betriebsforschungsinstitut GmbH, Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann GmbH and thyssenkrupp Steel as part of the publicly funded REDERS research project. Watch this video to learn more about the inauguration ceremony, which took place in Duisburg earlier this year.

The North Rhine-Westphalian Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Mona Neubaur, praised the project and new facility, saying: “We will only be able to have a net zero industry, easy access to raw materials and sustainable business practices if we make the very most of the potential of the circular economy. Innovative projects that enable closed-loop systems to be set up make a significant contribution towards both conserving raw materials and energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions – and this is particularly true when such projects involve energy-intensive sectors. The steel scrap processing plant here in Duisburg, which was developed by a group of local companies, very much underlines this fact. The circular economy needs such industrial partnerships along the whole of the supply chain so that ambitious, game-changing projects can be successfully implemented.”

TSR’s Managing Director Bernd Fleschenberg added, “Our recycled product TSR40 illustrates how raw materials can be sustainably secured in Germany and Europe and will enable us to cover a considerable amount of the industry’s future demand for raw materials. Besides the positive impact it will have on protecting the environment and curbing climate change, this development is also our contribution towards a sustainable circularity strategy and achieving the goals of the European Green Deal.”

A world first for resource recovery and conservation

Above: The new facility will recover iodine from flue gas residues.

Finding solutions to extract iodine from refuse has long proven a challenge on the road to a circular economy. But this problem has now been solved with the recent opening of an industrial-scale plant at a hazardous waste incineration facility in Brunsbüttel, Germany. Flue gas residues from incineration contain low levels of iodine, which until now have been bound in filter dust and placed in costly underground landfills, removing it from the economic cycle. Iodine is a key trace element widely used as an admixture in table salt, in medicine production or in the chemical industry.

REMONDIS developed this innovative iodine recovery process in partnership with REC53 GmbH. It works as follows: iodine is first separated from the flue gas and concentrated. The iodine concentrate is then stored as an aqueous solution in a tank and delivered to industry as a raw material, closing the loop. The new plant can extract up to 50 tonnes per year of iodine while also reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions and producing no effluent.

Left: Iodine concentrate is stored as an aqueous solution before being delivered to the industry.

The plant’s construction was funded by the Business Development and Technology Transfer Corporation of Schleswig-Holstein (WTSH). Martin Schmedtje, Mayor of Brunsbüttel, said: “There has been a long-standing and trusting cooperation between the City of Brunsbüttel and REMONDIS SAVA. I am, therefore, even more pleased that the new recovery plant will strengthen Brunsbüttel as a business location with a further innovation. I wish all those involved every success with the commissioning of the plant and its further development in the future!”

News in brief

Left: The zero-emission collection trucks only produce water vapour.

REMONDIS Australia is set to trial one of the world’s first zero-emission refuse collection trucks in its commercial operations. This hydrogen-powered heavy-duty truck will hit the roads of Illawara region of New South Wales starting in mid-2023. Its fuel cell electric vehicle technology runs on hydrogen, which combines with air to generate electricity that powers the truck and produces only water vapour emissions. 

Right: The hydrogen-powered trucks developed by Hyzon Motors ANZ can be adapted to international markets.

The collection truck was developed by Hyzon Motors ANZ (Hyzon) and made available to REMONDIS under the terms of an agreement. Hyzon President of International Operations, John Edgley, remarked, “It speaks volumes that REMONDIS, a global leader in the circular economy, has taken the lead by putting a zero-emission waste collection truck into commercial operation.”

Above: The Mayor of Lodz, Hanna Zdanowska, was among the guests visiting the Lünen complex.

REMONDIS regularly welcomes visitors to our facilities to deepen relationships and share expertise. Recently, a delegation from Poland, including Hanna Zdanowska, the Mayor of Lodz, had the chance to see our Lünen complex in person. As the long-standing recycling partner for many parts of this Polish city, REMONDIS operates a mechanical-biological treatment plant and a sorting facility in Lodz. Egbert Tölle, Member of the Board of REMONDIS Group and President and CEO REMONDIS International Group, welcomed the delegation to the plant. Delegates enjoyed a tour of the Lippe Plant, Europe’s largest centre for industrial recycling, and visited a biodiesel production plant, a recycling facility for electrical and electronic goods, along with Germany’s largest processing plant for recyclables, which can treat 180,000 tonnes of household and commercial refuse. In addition to learning more about the RETHMANN Group, the delegation also stopped by the GMVA Oberhausen incineration facility and the WBO Oberhausen Public Private Partnership.

As you have read in this issue, technology and innovation are going to play a pivotal role in addressing the climate crisis. It's clear that advancements and breakthroughs are coming quick and fast. At REMONDIS, we know that businesses, governments and communities are going to need to leverage all of the tools at their disposal to create a sustainable future and mitigate the impacts of climate change for future generations.

Have you checked out REMONDIS AKTUELL?

REMONDIS AKTUELL contains the latest news about our company – and can provide you with some valuable insights for your own day-to-day business. You can read the latest posts on this online blog in German and English.



Have you got any comments, suggestions or questions? Then why not get in touch?! We look forward to hearing from you.

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