Over 50 experts and scientists from Germany and Austria met from 21.-22.10.2010 at the “3rd Nordhausen Secondary Raw Materials Workshop” to find out about the current status of research in the field of energy and material recycling as well as to transfer ideas and experience (Fig.). In a total of 14 lectures, the speakers spoke about the latest developments in raw material extraction and energy generation. At the focus of interest is a paradigm shift in waste politics. The sustained use of scarce natural resources is one of the main tasks for the future. For this reason, waste policy must in future be understood as raw materials policy. In view of the ever scarcer raw material deposits, the recovery of secondary raw materials from waste will become increasingly important. Rising raw material prices make waste recycling a profitable economic factor, with which Germany could take a pioneering role globally. In the new EU waste frame directive the European Union has already prescribed to its member states that recycling takes priority over disposal.
Methods for the analysis of the composition of the “waste” as a secondary raw material are particularly important. In this field the Nordhausen researcher team around Professor Schade-Dannewitz has made a name for itself. They developed a now patented analysis method that, on the basis of the strong compaction of specimens, removes liquid impurities and leads to very exact measurement results. To conclude the two-day workshop, the environment and recycling engineering team guided the workshop participants through the test centre and laboratories at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences.