REMONDIS Newsletter

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Dear Reader,

A new year has dawned and, with it, the opportunity to make tangible progress on the path towards a cleaner, greener world. With 2023 going down in the history books as the warmest year on record, the need for climate and nature action is greater than ever. At this pivotal moment, we need bold, strategic, and collective action to help to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience against irreversible changes.

On a positive note, governments and companies like REMONDIS have already begun stepping up their commitments in areas from biodiversity conservation to the net-zero transition. Public Private Partnerships that combine the public sector’s ability to enact enabling conditions with innovation and investment from the private sector will certainly be an important piece of the puzzle in 2024 and beyond.

In this edition of our REMONDIS International Newsletter, you can learn more about topics including how we are working with local government partners to advance public transportation and water recycling, finding ways to make communities more resilient to flooding and advancing technologies to recycle more material streams.

Wishing you a peaceful and prosperous 2024!

Egbert Tölle

Working together to maximise recycling

Above: REMONDIS will work with Transdev to recycle materials generated during its train, bus and ferry operations, among others.

Leveraging the experience and expertise of different parts of our companies, REMONDIS and Transdev Sweden are now working together in Sweden. With approximately 6,600 workers, Transdev Sweden provides roughly 365,000 trips each day using a fleet of 138 trains, 1,442 buses, 25 light-rail vehicles and trams, 55 ships and ferries and 3 autonomous vehicles.

Since January 2024, REMONDIS has begun recycling materials from Transdev locations, starting with five locations in Stockholm, five locations in Gothenburg and seven locations in southern Sweden. REMONDIS will ultimately maximise recycling at all Transdev sites in the country and handle all material streams, primarily used oil, cardboard, combustible materials and mixed scrap, along with providing education on proper sorting practices.

Elsewhere, REMONDIS won another contract in Sweden to provide recycling management services to all eight HORNBACH sites in the country. The agreement will see REMONDIS deliver a complete range of recycling services for all locations run by HORNBACH, a leading player in the construction and gardening sector from Stockholm to Kristianstad.

Deploying the latest sensor technology to improve flood resilience

Above left: Water depth is monitored at the Abzucht stream near Theresienhof | Above right: New systems put to the test during heavy rainfall in 2023. 

With climate change leading to an increase in the severity and frequency of flooding, it is becoming increasingly important for local authorities to prepare and protect their communities. Use of the latest measurement technology is proving to be a key element of these efforts. One example of how this can work is found in Goslar, a town located on the edge of Germany’s Harz region.

During a major flooding event in 2017, heavy rainfall turned a gentle brook flowing through Goslar, the Abzucht, into a rushing torrent. The town was even cut off from the outside world for a time after flooding blocked roads in and out of the area. Once the worst was over the local government enacted a raft of measures to make sure this did not happen again, from setting up a system of stormwater retention basins to obtaining better equipment for the local fire brigade.

Left and bottom: The new digital sensors allow Eurawasser to monitor rainfall and river levels in real time so residents can be warned in time of any flooding events.

Another new addition: a network of digital sensors that provide real-time information to Eurawasser Goslar, which is part of the REMONDIS company. Sensors have been installed at critical points along waterways, retention basins and stormwater sewers to identify critical river levels and enable a rapid response in the event of heavy rainfall events.

“This data not only enables us to assess extreme weather events more accurately but also to make decisions more quickly about how best to act,” explained managing director Michael Figge. “At the end of the day, combining this data from the sensors with the latest weather forecasts means we can pass on this information to the council, fire brigade and water authorities so they, in turn, are better able to warn local residents about a potentially dangerous situation.”

The new upgrades were put to the test in 2023 when more than 80 mm of rain fell in Goslar within just an hour. “The Eurawasser team, though, could see from our network of 11 rain gauges that most of the rain was falling on the hills in the south and on the southern edge of the old city,” Mr Figge noted. This information indicated where problems would arise in the drainage system. It also showed that the Abzucht stream would not break its banks, and water from the tributary did not have to be diverted into the system of retention basins in and around Goslar, much to the relief of local residents. As Eurawasser continues to refine the system of sensors, it is also using software developed by its project partner SCALGO to draw up small-scale models to work out where it makes sense to set up further such retention basins or adapt existing ones – helping to prevent the next round of flooding before it happens.

Coffee pod recycling goes global

Above and below: Images from the process that ensures that 98 per cent of material from post-consumer coffee pods can now be diverted from landfill in Australia.

Coffee drinkers in Australia can now sip their morning brew with peace of mind that an effective recycling solution exists for their coffee pods. REMONDIS has been pioneering the processing of Nespresso coffee pods across Europe for more than a decade using a three-stream separation plant. Recognising an opportunity to address the growing demand for recycling these pods in Australia, too, REMONDIS Australia turned to Atritor and its Turbo Separator technology to provide a local solution similar to the one successfully deployed throughout the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Luxembourg.

Creating a circular coffee economy was a complex process. REMONDIS consulted with a wide range of equipment suppliers to understand the various options that existed. The review honed in on the Turbo Separator, which not only met operational requirements but also eliminated the need for an energy-intensive drying process. After successful trials and subsequent enhancements at Atritor's production facility and testing centre in the UK, including the introduction of a vibratory feeding plate and eddy current, the Turbo Separator achieved an impressive 98% recovery of material from post-consumer coffee pods. Through REMONDIS Australia’s development processes, the Turbo Separator has been altered to increase product throughput (at approximately 2,500kg/hour), improve the purity of recovered materials across organics and packaging, and simplify the screening process. Now, the Turbo Separator installed at REMONDIS Tomago Resource Recovery Facility is receiving Nespresso pods from all major cities in Australia, offering a more resource-efficient recovery solution for Nespresso coffee pods.

All aboard: Quito’s first metro line in commercial operation

Above: The highest metro line in the world is now up and running.

Public transportation has been transformed in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, with the commissioning of the country’s first metro line on 1 December 2023. The line is operated by Empresa Operadora Metro de Medellín Transdev (EOMMT), a joint venture between Transdev and Metro de Medellín. Together, these two companies have over 100 years' experience in the operation of trains, metros, and other integrated transportation systems.

The line was officially inaugurated two days later in the presence of the Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Quito, Mr. Pabel Muñoz López, the capital's elected officials and representatives of Transdev and Metro de Medellín. Built at an altitude of 2,850 meters in a 22.6 km tunnel, it is the highest metro line in the world. Capable of handling 400,000 passengers each day, its 18 trains now run through 15 stations between Quitumbe in the south and El Labrador in the north. Travelling the entire line takes 34 minutes, a time saving of one and a half hour before the line was built. Transdev plans to integrate the metro line with Quito’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and trolleybus stations in 2024.

Thierry Mallet, Chairman and CEO of Transdev, commented, “1 December 2023 marks an important milestone in the history of public transportation in Ecuador: it's the start of commercial operations for the country's very first metro line. With its route and connections to transportation networks, this metro becomes the capital's new mobility backbone. Finally, it's a further sign of Transdev's reinforcement in South America, where we are committed, like everywhere else in the world, to ever more decarbonized and sustainable urban mobility, serving the common good.”

New RETERRA plant takes composting and digestion to a new level

Above: Symbolically cutting the ribbon to open the plant (from left): Axel Steffen from the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Climate Protection, Gernot Schmidt, District Administrator of the Märkisch-Oderland district, Norbert Rethmann, Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the RETHMANN Group, Daniel Kurth, District Administrator of the Barnim district, and Barbara Junker and Aloys Oechtering, Managing Directors of RETERRA.

Unlocking the full value of organic materials, a new facility in Germany will combine composting and biogas production to close the loop and generate climate-neutral biogas and green electricity. Opened in November 2023, the modern co-digestion plant is located in Trappenfelde, part of the town of Ahrensfelde on the northeastern outskirts of Berlin, which has been home to a composting plant since 1986. The REMONDIS subsidiary RETERRA recognized the need to provide advanced organic material treatment services and started building the new tunnel composting facility with a connected digester in 2021. With a total annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes of biowaste and 25,000 tonnes of green refuse, the plant will draw its feedstock from separate collection bins at private households and small businesses in the districts of Barnim and Märkisch-Oderland.

Left: The opening ceremony included a tour of the new facility.

The biogas produced at the site reduces Germany’s dependence on imported energy sources and can be converted into green electricity and heat on-site using a combined heat and power plant. Adding digested residue from biogas production to the tunnel composting process also helps to create a high-quality structural compost that significantly improves soil quality and fertility.

Right and below: A panel session on the benefits of co-digestion.

Indeed, soil fertilised with this compost can store up to five times more water and for five times longer than soils without structural compost. Additionally, the compost produced in Ahrensfelde makes soil more resilient, especially during prolonged dry periods, which are already occurring in Germany as a result of climate change.

REMONDIS serving with local public entity in Spain

Above: The La Riera de La Bisbal water treatment plant.

REMONDIS Agua recently won a contract to operate and maintain a major wastewater system in Baix Penedès (Catalonia), a region located within the northeastern of Spain. Granted by the local government body Consell Comarcal of Baix Penedès, the contract will see REMONDIS manage, operate and maintain systems catering to 243,000 equivalent inhabitants in 15 municipalities. Along with overseeing 10 wastewater treatment plants, 28 pumping stations, and 4 underwater outfalls, the contract will also include 53 km of collectors, 7 km of outfalls, sand traps, spillways, along with significant optimisation and improvement work. It also marks the continuation and consolidation of various services provided by REMONDIS Agua in the Baix Penedès region over the years.

News in brief

Above: Antoine Grange, CEO Europe of Transdev and President of the Mobility Sphere. The Mobility Sphere will drive discussion about urban mobility in 2050.

A new think tank is bringing together experts from academia, the public and private sectors to address the main trends and challenges that will define urban mobility in Europe in 2050. Transdev recently announced the launch of this platform, called The Mobility Sphere, which aims to explore and shape the future of mobility in Europe. Each year, the think tank will host high-profile events in major European cities to bring together experts to craft innovative solutions for more livable and sustainable cities. Thierry Mallet, Chairman and CEO of Transdev Group, said: “As a world leader in public transportation, Transdev champions innovative solutions for more sustainable and inclusive mobility. By creating the Mobility Sphere, we wanted to take this mission a step further by providing a platform for climate experts, urban decision-makers, and social scientists to rethink stronger public transportation systems for the cities of tomorrow.” The next event will be held in Brussels in March 2024. 

Left: Young students learned about sorting outside...

The youngest members of society are learning about proper sorting practices in the classroom thanks to a REMONDIS educational campaign. The EcoAcademy will teach children in kindergartens and schools in the southern Polish city of Pszczyna about sorting-related facts and myths through games. The campaign, held under the patronage of the Mayor of Pszczyna, aims to help young people form good habits at an early age, thereby helping to increase recycling and protect the environment.

Right: and inside the classroom.

As the Mayor of Pszczyna, Dariusz Skrobol, noted, “Our partnership with REMONDIS through the Pszczyna EcoAcademy is not only an opportunity to improve education and make our residents more aware of environmental issues, but also exemplifies our responsibility and improves the quality of life in our city.”

As we work to mitigate and adapt to climate change, we need innovative solutions, international cooperation, and a shared commitment to sustainable practices that will safeguard our planet. REMONDIS stands ready to help conserve valuable resources and drive the transition to more sustainable communities for generations to come.

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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