Organic waste transformed into energy
The new digester plant at the VZEK (Erftkreis Recycling Centre) was officially opened on 06 July 2021 and is now being used to transform organic waste into energy. The decision was made to modernise and extend the site as the neighbouring Rhine-Erft district wished its approx. 55,000 t/a of municipal organic waste to be used to generate electricity. As a result, the VZEK composting plant in Erftstadt was extended and is now home to a modern digester with a throughput of 35,000 t/a and a new tunnel composting system able to handle almost 40,000t a year.
Sealing the opening of the new plant: Frank Rock, District Administrator of the Rhine-Erft District (l.), and Norbert Rethmann, Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the RETHMANN Group (r.)
More climate action and resource protection in the region and beyond
In light of the need to curb climate change and conserve natural resources, the VZEK and its new facilities will be contributing towards the raw material and energy transition in a number of different ways. The site has increased the amount of materials it can handle by a further 45,000 t/a. Its so-called co-digestion plant can process a total of up to 183,000t of organic waste every year and transform it into high quality compost and low carbon biogas. This biogas is then used to produce climate-neutral electricity in the combined heat and power plants, which are also located on the site. Looking ahead, the biogas could also be used as a carbon-neutral fuel in the future to run the growing fleet of climate-friendly refuse collection trucks in the Rhine-Erft district and beyond.
55.000 t/a of municipal organic waste is generated in the Rhine-Erft district every year. The council’s wish that it be used to recover energy was the reason behind the modernisation
Official opening held on site and broadcast on the internet
Besides RETERRA’s managing directors, Barbara Junker and Aloys Oechtering, the event was also attended by the district administrator of the Rhine-Erft District, Frank Rock, and the honorary chairman of the supervisory board of the RETHMANN Group, Norbert Rethmann.
The VZEK will be contributing towards the raw material and energy transition in a number of different ways in the future.
A round table discussion was also held during the opening, which was broadcast on the internet. The guests and the moderator made the most of this opportunity to discuss the importance of the circular economy as a means to conserve our planet’s natural resources and tackle climate change. The German government’s new Climate Change Act stipulates that Germany must be net zero by 2045 – five years ahead of the EU Commission’s own ambitious goal.
Besides RETERRA’s Managing Directors, Barbara Junker (centre) and Aloys Oechtering (3rd left), the event was also attended by the District Administrator of the Rhine-Erft District, Frank Rock (4th left), and the Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the RETHMANN Group, Norbert Rethmann (5th left)
Image credits: image 1–3: © REMONDIS