Securing an efficient raw material supply
4th Berlin Recycling and Raw Materials Conference, Berlin/Germany (29.-30.06.2011)

The environmental compatibility and economic efficiency of organization and equipment for recycling processes should be designed so that they make a qualitative and quantitative contribution to the supply of raw materials to industry, both to power generation and industrial production. In future, in line with political will and to meet the demands of industry, more waste-derived fuels and secondary raw materials are to be used than has been the case so far.


Industrial production and jobs, amongst other things, ­depend on the availability of raw materials. Germany is a country that is poor in raw materials, but has a considerable demand for raw materials for its power supply and its production. In 2008, raw materials to a value of € 126 bill. were imported into Germany; in Germany raw materials to a value of around € 10 bill. were extracted in the same period. The situation is aggravated by the export of waste that contains raw materials needed in Germany. With the export of, for example, scrap vehicles as well as waste electric and electronic equipment to Africa and Asia, Germany is not only dispensing with the secondary raw materials contained in them, which then have to be imported as primary raw materials. In addition, uncontrolled exports cause environmental problems and health hazards in the importing newly industrializing and developing countries, because there recycling is generally neither performed completely nor in compliance with environmental protection and occupational safety measures.


Other aims of European policy for assuring the supply of raw materials are improved access to raw materials in countries rich in raw materials and the closing of material circuits at home. Access to raw materials on international markets is to be made easier and from European sources improved. Material circuits are to be closed and high-quality secondary materials are to be recovered from waste.


The goals of environmentally compatible waste disposal – including the recycling processes – are comparable with those of assured raw material supply. For these, various activities are necessary:


• The recycling potential of the relevant waste flows must be determined with regard to the raw materials contained in it and the development potential using state-of-the-art technology. A differentiation must be made between the theoretical and the usable value potential, the latter not being a constant, but subject to a wide range of influences, like the behaviour of waste owner, organization and equipment of the disposal process and acceptance of the producing industry and consumers.

• Concepts for analysis systems and processes for returning the raw materials contained in the waste to the material circuit must be developed if these do not yet exist.

• Incentives, statutory regulations, standards and guidelines for efficient analysis and treatment of waste as well as for the recycling of the secondary raw materials must be created if these do not yet exist.

At the Berlin Recycling and Raw Materials Conference 2011 strategic issues to assure the recovery of resources from waste streams will be addressed by Prof. Faulstich, Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Environment, Reinhard Kaiser from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Prof. Goldmann from Clausthal University of Technology (Fig.) and Dr. Marscheider-Weide­mann from the Fraunhofer Institute ISI. Dr. Schüler from the Institute for ­Applied Ecology is addressing the topic of rare earth economy. Dr. Bardt from the Institute for Economic Research will explore the question of whether and how recycling can make a contribution to assuring the supply of raw materials. Arno Rasek from the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s independent competition authority, will speak on anti-trust legislation problems in the waste management sector. Current issues in the recycling of domestic waste will be discussed by Prof. Rommer from the bifa Environmental Institute, Prof. Schabel from Darmstadt University of Technology, bvse-President Landers and Mr Gassner, a lawyer. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the competition surrounding recycling bins in Germany. On the second day, in three parallel events, waste streams, strategic raw materials in and out waste streams as well as recycling developments will be discussed extensively and competently in twelve talks.


Programme and registration form are available for download at the homepage


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