Bundled knowledge in presentations and articles

TOMM+C regularly provides speakers for waste management conferences, organised e.g. from DGAW, bvse, DECHEMA or VKS im VKU.


In the following you find presentations and articles of recent years with an abstract to download.


Failed again - hardly any progress in the recycling rate!

Failed again - hardly any progress in the recycling rate!Target missed again - the 60% recycling target in 2030 is still a long way off! Further efforts to actually increase recycling must follow. Even the inclusion of the self-composted share of biowaste is not enough!

When comparing the waste balances 2019 and 2020, taking into account the output-based calculation method of the Waste Framework Directive, we have hardly made any progress in recycling. Accordingly, the recycling rate is only between 48% - 50% (BMU estimates 52.8%).

The results at a glance:

  • Slight increase in household waste generation by 2% (due to pandemic).
  • Significant decrease in other municipal waste, especially from the commercial sector, by 11% due to the pandemic with simultaneously higher input in treatment plants due to better implementation of the Commercial Waste Ordinance.
  • Increase in separately collected biowaste by around 7% due to the pandemic as well as an increase in the supply of organic waste bins.
  • In the area of separately collected recyclables, a constant input into treatment plants was recorded despite increased waste volumes. The sorting activity of households thus leaves much to be desired.
  • In order to achieve the EU recycling quota of 55% in 2025, the collection and inclusion of the self-composted share is essential. According to the Federal Environment Agency, this could increase the quota by 7%.

The 60% recycling target in 2030 is still a long way off! Further efforts to actually increase recycling must follow.

You can download the full presentation in german here.

Perspectives of the waste market against the background of the implementation of the circular economy package

Presentation at the 33rd Kassel Waste and Resource Forum 2022

The presentation first considers the impact of the new output-based calculation method on recycling rates in Germany. Subsequently, the waste generation of the material streams packaging, biowaste and municipal waste is estimated for the year 2035 and capacity gaps for recycling are identified.

You can download the German presentation here.


Energy form Waste - how modern waste incineration works

Presentation to the round table of an expert delegation from Greece, December 2021.

The presentation first addresses the need to close landfills, which have come into focus due to their high methane emissions in the context of the Methane Pledge at COP26 in Glasgow.

The presentation will give an overview of the functioning of a modern waste incineration plant with combined heat and power from the bunker to the flue gas cleaning system using the example of a plant with 160,000 tonnes per year. At the end, the emission values as well as the treatment of the residual materials (bottom ash, filter dust) will also be discussed.

You can download the presentation here.

Why mechanical versus chemical recycling? Alternatives and innovations are needed!
Can´t the processes complement each other?

Presentation on the occasion of the ISWA World congress 2021

Mechanical plastics recycling is increasingly facing competition by physical and chemical processes. Many NGOs argue against chemical recycling, citing its environmental impact and questioning its economic viability.

Nonetheless, alternatives have to be developed in order to meet the ambitious recycling targets of agreements such as the EU's Green Deal.

Based on a review of recent studies and interviews with industry participants, the paper provides an overview of the current situation of the plastics material flow, production figures and disposal routes. Additionally, different processes of plastics recycling are discussed with a focus on the processes of chemical recycling. For this purpose, existing studies and life cycle assessments based on scientific and industrial sources are evaluated. The mass balance approach is also considered.

You can download the presentation here.

Thank you letter from ISWA!

In the December issue of Müll und Abfall the article was published again in German

In the long term, the DGAW sees chemical recycling as a valuable complement to mechanical recycling.

Mechanical plastics recycling has been established for decades. Currently, physical and chemical processes are increasingly being discussed as a supplement to mechanical recycling. The discussions on this topic are intense because the processes are seen as competition to mechanical recycling, among other things. In the foreground, economic efficiency and sustainability are being questioned.

The DGAW welcomes the efforts, especially of the chemical and petrochemical industry, to create a supplement to mechanical recycling with investments of about 2.6 billion euros by 2025 and about 7.2 billion euros by 2030 and thus to assume producer responsibility. (Source: "Plastics producers want to invest billions in chemical recycling" in the online magazine 320Grad of 01.06.2021).

You can download the complete Position Paper in german here.

Presentation: Berlin Waste Management and Energy Conference 2021
Thomas Obermeier, Inga Fischer and Isabelle Henkel

(as of Nov. 2020)
In the next few years, many municipal and private owners of thermal waste treatment plants will have to make decisions on the (partial) replacement or modernisation of their plant stock, weighing up the high investment costs, the long-term nature of the decision and the claim to permanently guarantee disposal security for citizens and companies. ITAD, the interest group of thermal waste treatment plants in Germany, recently published the results of a commissioned study [19]. Other stakeholders and consultancies, e.g. the Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants (CEWEP), the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) and Tolvik Consulting Ltd (for the British market), have also examined the situation, sometimes arriving at different approaches and results.

Against this background, the authors of this article have looked behind the scenes of the industry and tried to come to their own assessments with a creative approach.

You can download the complete conference proceedings here.

The proceedings are also published in the electronic proceedings of the Berlin Waste Management and Energy Conference 2021 (https://www.vivis.de/2021/06/energie-aus-abfall-proceedings-2021/12237/).

DGAW position paper on the recycling of tar-containing road debris
The way out of the disposal emergency

Since 2002, tar-containing road demolition material has been considered hazardous waste throughout Europe due to its high content of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and is classified as requiring special monitoring.

In Germany, the discussion about how to deal with road demolition materials containing tar and pitch has been a source of controversy for years. However, a sustainable solution, also within the framework of the waste hierarchy, is still missing...

The DGAW has taken up the situation and possible solutions in its current position paper and presented them in detail.

You can download the complete position paper in german here.

The DGAW takes stock after one year of the pandemic: How good was the forecast on the volume development of waste streams?

In May 2020, the DGAW published a forecast on the impact of the Corona pandemic on waste management, which focused primarily on the expected volume trends in municipal and commercial waste.

One lockdown later, this January 2021 update will, on the one hand, take a retrospective look at the extent to which the forecasts from spring 2020 match the reality at the end of the year. On the other hand, the further development, in particular of the commercial waste volumes, will be considered on the basis of current economic forecasts.

Here is the update for you in german for download.


Trendbook Technical Textiles
Chemical Recycling: Overview and Outlook

In the field of technical textiles, which are mostly highly functional composites with textile and plastic components, mechanical recycling processes quickly reach their limits. The waste streams accumulate less in private households, but rather as commercial and industrial waste, construction waste, electronic scrap or end-of-life vehicles. In addition to mechanical recycling, the majority is currently thermally recycled. This could change with chemical recycling....

You can download the article in german with foreword here.

On request, we can also provide it in English.

Education and networking in the waste industry: The voice of reason

For 30 years now, the German Association for Waste Management (DGAW) has been championing the issues and interests of the waste management industry. A functioning circular economy and sustainable consumption are particularly close to the organization's heart.

Honorary chairman Thomas Obermeier grants special waste knowledge views of the daily business of the DGAW and designates tasks and goals of the institution:

The DGAW celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year and sees itself as the largest expert network in the circular economy. We are an independent and competent partner for producers, disposal companies, politics, science and society. The aim is to promote or create an exchange of opinions and experience between market players, independent of the sector, through fact-based information, discussions and statements.

Read the complete article in german here...


The valuable role of waste-to-energy in the energy transition

An interview with Apricum’s waste-to-energy expert Thomas Obermeier

Apricum has recently expanded its industry focus to include the waste sector, offering services in wastewater treatment, waste-to-energy and waste management. Supporting Apricum in its expansion into waste-to-energy projects are two newly appointed senior advisors, Thomas Obermeier and Henning Franke. In this interview, we speak to Thomas Obermeier to find out more about the waste-to-energy market in Germany and Europe and how the market might develop from a regulatory standpoint, as well as challenges and opportunities created...


Where should the recycling journey go, NGOs? - No chemical recycling, no incineration, no export, no landfill and certainly no marine litter: what to do with non-high-quality plastics?

Given the current controversial discussion on chemical recycling, GAIA, a global alliance of more than 900 NGOs and individuals, has published a study that takes a very critical look at the issue and concludes that chemical recycling is not a solution to the plastic problem.

The authors, Thomas Obermeier, publicly appointed and sworn expert for waste management and honorary president of DGAW e.V. and Isabelle Henkel, project manager, TOMM + C and advisor of DGAW, see chemical recycling as a possible addition to mechanical recycling. Because it is clear that we need alternatives to achieve the ambitious recycling quotas in the future. If, in addition, less plastics are to be thermally recycled, innovations have to be developed, whereby economy should not be the leading argument. Because with the current low oil price, plastic recycling cannot be economically represented. The economic viability of plastics recycling should rather be promoted by establishing sales markets, e.g. B. by substitution quotas.
The authors believe that giving chemical recycling processes no chance from the outset is wrong. The large, financially strong players from the chemical industry in particular could solve some of the challenges and thus take advantage of opportunities. The article appears in the September issue of "Müll und Abfall" with the updates of the summer.


Forecast of the effects of the corona crisis on waste management - DGAW dares quantity forecast

What effects will the corona crisis have on waste management in Germany? How will quantities in household waste and commercial waste develop? - The DGAW has dared to forecast the quantity development of the waste streams ... and is happy to put it up for discussion!

The corona crisis and the associated lockdown have an enormous impact on almost all areas of the economy. Waste management is also badly affected. The DGAW looked at the economic impact of the crisis on the waste management industry and paid particular attention to the volume development of waste flows. Residential waste from home office and clearing out activities has initially increased. In the course of the easing, however, this volume shift will normalize again in the course of the year. What is much more serious, however, is the decline in the amount of industrial waste, which has partly collapsed completely due to the lockdown. The extent to which volumes increase over the years as the economy recovers has been shown by the DGAW in several scenarios, taking into account the GDP forecasts of various economic institutes. For 2020 there will be a decrease in the volume of commercial waste, which is between 3.90 million. Mg and 5.58million Mg lies. If one now calculates the increase in volume from household waste in 2020, this leads to a total decrease in volume of between 1.12 million. Mg and 2.79 million Mg lies.


Berlin recycling conference on 02.-03. March 2020

This presentation provides an overview of the current situation in the plastics material flow, starting with the production figures and the disposal routes - both globally and in Germany. Then the various methods of plastic recycling are presented technically and economically and explained using examples. A larger chapter will be devoted to chemical recycling, which has become fashionable again. However, since recycling is not the top priority in the waste hierarchy, the authors also discuss avoidance, alternatives to plastic and preparation for reuse. The legal framework and the topic of microplastics are also addressed.


Ash Wednesday seminar: Exit from coal and the impact on waste management

DGAW at the 20th Ash Wednesday seminar of the LVR Sachsen in Dresden

We have to become as sexy as TESLA to the regulatory authorities!
(The approval procedure for the TESLA plant in Brandenburg was done in weeks)
We have to dare to innovate, use digitalization and overcome the German fear of mistakes!

The title of the opening statement by Thomas Obermeier was: "Effects of the coal phase-out on waste management in Germany". Afterwards - in the Ash Wednesday tradition - the audience did some straight talking about both challenges and opportunities:
• Around 40 million t of incineration capacity are missing in Germany and the EU
• A large part of the waste is still landfilled in the EU
• The approval procedures for new plants are lengthy
• The use of recyclates must be promoted by creating market incentives or substitution quotas
• Changing consumer behavior is difficult, which is why manufacturers and waste disposal companies have to be made responsible and work together
• Virgin material is too cheap compared to recycled material, often higher demands are placed on the recycled material

In the end, solutions and optimism were required:
• The industry has achieved a lot despite a lack of enforcement
• We need increased communication between manufacturers and disposal companies
• We need modern combustion concepts with carbon capture
• We have to see CO2 as a raw material
• We have to become as sexy as TESLA for the regulatory authorities!
• We have to dare to innovate, use digitization and overcome the German fear of mistakes!



It’s Difficult to Make Predictions, Especially About the Future

The recycling industry is currently concerned that the shortage of incineration capacities will endanger material recycling. In contrast, the NABU study from September 2019 comes to the conclusion that by 2030 there will be a significant reduction in the input to waste incinerators and RDF power plants. A reduction of the incineration capacity is advisable. If legal requirements are implemented, a decline of 5 million tons per year, if further measures and avoidance strategies are implemented, a decrease of 7 to 9 million t/a is forecast. We see it differently.

Read the whole article here.

Recycling rates - Germany and the EU
  • New requirements for recycling rates and calculation methods after the entry into force of the waste management package
  • Starting point in Germany and EU
  • Consequences of the new calculation methodology for the recycling rate
  • Conclusion
    With the following topics:
    • An article from what time...
    • Assessment approaches to the "carbon footprint" of chemical recycling
    • New processes for biological and chemical recycling
    • Conclusion

    Read the whole article here.

      World Waste to Energy and Resources Summit

      Leveraging Policy to Open Up New Market Opportunities and
      Boost Profitability
      The right government policy at the right time can have a huge impact on opportunity
      and profitability in the sector. Of course, the opposite can be true too, where either bad
      policy or no policy at all has the power to kill off projects or stifle essential progress.

      Our panel of global industry leaders explore:

      • I. In which markets are developments in policy driving the industry forwards?
      • II. What needs to be in place from a regulatory standpoint to incentivise waste conversion to energy and resources, especially as we move away from subsidies?
      • III. Where can the biggest improvements be made? Who needs to lead the way?


        DGAW-Plastics-Newsletter 02/2018

        Due to the multiple current reports in the specialized press as well as in the general and social media, the article entitled "Plastics in the sea - plastics in the field" from 12.06.2018 will be continued as a DGAW-Plastics-Newsletter.

        Thomas Obermeier, CEO TOMM-C and Honorary President of the DGAW and Isabelle Henkel, DGAW's advisor, will summarize from time to time the status of media reports on the subject of plastics recycling, recycling and inputs into the environment. The focus will be on the current environmental policy debate, changes in the markets, and new technologies. Here you can find the complete Newsletter.


        Does the new Commercial Wast Ordinance fullfil the claim of significantly increasing the recycling rate - or does ist remain a paper tiger?

        New Commercial Waste Ordinance: Initial Position

        • Status quo - Municipal waste-like Commercial Waste
        • Opportunities and Risks to achieve the objectives of the GewAbfV
        • Forecast of the Development of Recycling Rates of Household-like Commercial Waste by 2030
        • Impact of GewAbfV for achieving the Recycling Rates of the waste Management Package


          Utilization of the energy content of waste for heat and electricity production as sustainable transitional solution towards "zero waste"

          Lecture and Discussion at the Round Tabele "waste and enery" of the City of Chemnitz

          Waste generation between recycling rate and „zero waste“

          • Implementation of the EU recycling quotas in Germany (commercial solid waste, organic waste)
          • WtE capacities in Europe and Germany
          • Imports and exports

          Energy and resource turnaround

          • Sustainable waste management as a link between energy and resource change
          • Contribution WtE to the energy supply of tomorrow
            Plastics in the sea - plastics in the field

            Do we have suitable concepts to stop the plastic entry into waters and soils?

            State of the discussion about the plastic recycling

            Not just the trade press, but all media channels, whether classical or social media, are currently flooded with reports about plastics in the environment, flanked by startling images of littered seas and landscapes.

            The waste management industry also discussed this topic on June 12-13, 2018 as part of the bvse "Plastics Day" in Bad Neuenahr and examined it from different perspectives. Especially in Germany, the topic has been given new impetus by plastic residues in waters and compost ...

              RETech-Workshop, IEexpo Shanghai May 4th, 2018

              • Waste to Energy in Germany and China

              An excerpt of the presentation is available on request.

              Recycling rates in Germany - Can Germany achieve the European Recycling Targets? Latest Data and Calculation Method

              • Currant Basis
              • Qutput-based Approach to determining the Recycling Rate
              • Result of the trilogue negotiations on the Waste Management Package Draft Guidelines of 23.02.2018
              • Recycling rates
              • New Calculation Method
              • Measures to achieve the Recycling Rate in Germany
              • Conclusion

              Waste to Energy - the contribution of waste management to the decarbonised Smart City

              Megatrends of modern cities

              • Urbanization
              • Transition to sustainable use of Energy and Resources

              Smart City

              • The role of waste management in the Smart City
              • Digitized waste management
              • WtE contribution to the energy supply of the Smart City

              Recycling rates – Can Germany achieve the European Recycling Targets?

              • Currant Basis
              • Qutput-based Approach to determining the Recycling Rate
              • New calculation Method of the Recycling Rate, Commission Proposal
              • Estimation of the Recycling Rate with the new Calculation Method of the European Commission
              • Result of the Trilogue Negotiations on Waste Framework Directive
              • Measures to achieve the Recycling Rate in Germany
              • Conclusion

              Demand for EfW capacity in Poland taking into account the waste hierarchy

                • Location of Mechanical-Biological Waste Treatment Facilities 
                • Location of Waste Incinerations Plants
                • Waste Quantities and Material Flows using the Example of Poland
                • Recommandations

                   An excerpt of the presentation is available on request.


                    Trends and Developments in the European Waste Mangement Market
                    • Influencing Variables on Waste / Circular Economy Package
                    • Status quo / Example Germany
                    • Transfrontier Shipment
                    • Development of Waste Mangement in Europe
                    • Conclusion

                     An excerpt of the presentation is available on request.


                      New Calculation Method for Measurement of Recycling Rates and Influence on Recycling Quotas

                      • Current methodologies for measurement of recycling waste
                      • New proposal for calculation method
                      • Impact on recycling quotas
                      • Possible practical difficulties
                      • How to overcome the obstacles 


                        RDF & Waste2Energy in Europe

                        • Export and Import of RDF in Europe 2015
                        • Capacities of WtE plants in Europe 2015
                        • Development of MSW and C&I waste streams for WtE plants under consideration of the targets of the Circular Economy Package
                        • Comparison of GHG balances for disposal of MSW in the country of origin with RDF export and energy recovery in the import country

                        An excerpt of the presentation is available on request.

                          EfW in a country´s waste management

                          • Waste Management and Climate Change
                          • EEW Europe‘s Leading WtE group
                          • Ukraine – EU
                          • Example Poland
                          • EfW industry´s recommendation

                           An excerpt of the presentation is available on request.

                          Miracle of Recycling Quotas - Where do we stand before the next Trilogue meeting for the EU Circular Economy Package?

                          The statistical figures for the Federal Republic of Germany from 2015 have been published since July 2017, and the trilogue procedure between the EU Commission, Parliament and Council in Brussels on the Circular Economy Package and recycling quotas is in full progress. Germany has its own ideas for their calculation.

                          Where do we really stand based on the latest available figures?

                          The authors have analysed the published waste balance for 2015 on their own and additional on the basis of the calculation method proposed in the Circular economic package by the EU Commission in December 2015. The result is disillusioning. Even in 2015 only 38% - 40% are actually recycled, instead of 67% how statistics will make us believe. According to the new EU calculation method, it is around 47% to 52%.


                          The authors have been criticizing for years that recyling quotes for bulky waste such as paper & cardboard, glass, etc. being raised instead of focusing on strategic metals, rare earths etc. All in all, Germany and the EU place too much emphasis on stage 3 of the waste management hierarchy (recycling) and neglect levels 1 and 2 (prevention and preparation for re-use).

                          You can download the full article by clicking on the header.

                            CHINA -  Critical Needs and International Opportunities

                              • Global and Chinese Growth in Population and Waste Volumes
                              • Chinese aims in Waste Management
                              • Chinas Incineration Projects
                              • Chinas Engagement in European waste assets
                              • Examples (Urbaser, Alba, EEW, Scholz, etc.)
                              • BEHL (Beijing Enterprises Holdings Limited) 

                                 An excerpt of the presentation is available on request.

                                  Hazardous waste imports – Germany as Europe´s dump or sustainable waste disposal?

                                    • Amount of hazardous waste in Germany
                                    • Germany as main importer
                                    • Exporters of hazardous waste in Europe
                                    • Hazardous waste balance in Germany
                                    • Imports ans Exports of hazardous waste to/from Germany
                                    • Imported hazardous waste by types of waste
                                    • Hazardous waste treatment
                                    • Summary

                                        Recycling rates – Do we continue cheating or are we able to succeed the new EU quotes?

                                        • Recycling rates - overview
                                        • The legal framework
                                        • Presently admitted calculation methods
                                        • Arithmetic examples
                                        • Infuence on the recyclingrates
                                        • closed substance cycle waste management – EU introduces the bills from commission, member states and parliament
                                        • Timetable
                                        • Industrial waste decree – lame duck
                                        • New Industrial waste decree – right step
                                        • New Industrial waste decree – timetable


                                          Recycling & Waste World interviewed Thomas Obermeier

                                          German Association for Waste management president Thomas Obermeier explains how waste went from being seen as a contaminant to a resource, why the UK risks again becoming the dirty man of Europe, and champions the leading role Germany can play in educating China and other countries. Geraldine Faulkner reports.

                                          RDF-Import – sustainable solution or climate-wrecking waste tourism 2016
                                          • Situation of RDF-Import / Export in Europe in 2013
                                          • RDF-Imports to Germany in 2015
                                          • Sustainable waste management
                                          • waste treatment in Europe
                                          • waste treatment in UK
                                          • fulfilment of climate targets in waste management
                                          • comparison of climate balance – waste treatement in UK / Europe of RDF
                                          • conclusion
                                          German waste management market 2016
                                          • About TOMM+C
                                          • RDF Import
                                          • Waste Treatment Capacities and waste amount in Germany
                                          • Economic and strategic drivers
                                          • Gate fee wte plants
                                          • Conclusion
                                          New Calculation Method for Measurement of Recycling Rates and Influence on Recycling Quotas
                                          • Legislative Basis
                                          • Methods for Calculating of Recycling Rates

                                          -          Input based calculation

                                          -          Output based  calculation

                                          • Influence on Recycling Quotas


                                          Collaboration of waste management players in Germany on their way to cycle managent

                                                • value added chain
                                                • opinion leader in waste- and cycle management
                                                • exertion of influence on the cycle management design
                                                • associations, occupational groups, networking
                                                      Niemieckie Stowarzyszenie Gospodarki Opdadami e.V.
                                                      Platforma odpowiedzialnosci za produkty i ochrone zasobow naturalnych
                                                      • Stowarzyszenie sluzace dobru publicznemu, aktywne od 1990 roku
                                                      • Cel dzialalnosci : ekologiczny rozwoj gospodarki odpadami
                                                      • niezalezny, wolny od wplywu interesow dialog
                                                      • ca. 430 czlonkow stowarzyszenia

                                                      German association for waste management e. V.
                                                      platform for product responsibility and resource conservation (German accompanying commentary of
                                                      Polish presentation)

                                                      • Association of common public interest since 1900
                                                      • Objective – environmental enhancement of waste management
                                                      • open-minded and interest-free exchange
                                                      • about 430 members


                                                      Economy and sustainability of various organizational models in waste management
                                                        • Waste management: Profitability and sustainability of different organisation models
                                                        • Legislative requirements of waste management
                                                        • Economic preconditions
                                                        • Waste management: Cooperations models
                                                        • Situation of Niederschlesien and comparision with Saxony
                                                        • Conclusion for waste management in Niederschlesien
                                                        • Recommondation for Niederschlesien


                                                          Prospects of waste management
                                                          • Legislative changes and innovations
                                                          • Waste to energy
                                                          • Scarce resources and sustainable waste management



                                                          Presentation on the occation of 19. TASIMA (Conference of municipal waste management in Magdeburg)
                                                            • Situation of wte  in Germany
                                                            • Treatment capacity
                                                            • Degree of capacity utilisation and outlook
                                                            • Import of RDF
                                                            • Legislative regulations
                                                            • Situation in Germany



                                                            Recycling rates in conflict between waste statistics and political goals
                                                            • Recycling targets in the new KrWG
                                                            • EU-guidelines for calculation methods to determine recycling rates
                                                            • Discrepancy between statistically determined recycling rates and real recycling
                                                            • Approach to identify the real recycling rate
                                                            Models of cooperation in waste management – GML in comparison

                                                            Different models of cooperation like waste disposal authorities (municipal cooperation) and public private partnership

                                                            • Which consequences does the new KrWG implicate?
                                                            • Cooperation between GML and ZAK from 2015 on to ensure the disposal safety by the waste disposal authority