Whether you approach us as a major international corporation, a medium-sized company or a small, regional business, from a professional perspective it is irrelevant. We focus on your issue, your hazardous waste, and the best possible waste management solution. We never cut any corners, and that also applies should our competitors from the waste management sector ask us to help solve their problems on the basis of our expertise or capacity. The word must have got out. Our regular customers from the 38 further industries include manufacturing companies from the chemical, pharmaceutical, electrical and electronics, mechanical engineering and building materials industries, as well as processing companies from the areas of metalworking, defence facilities and businesses from the field of industrial maintenance.
It is a fact that the chemical and pharmaceutical industries have been doing everything they can to systematically undermine the basis of our business for many years. The prevention of waste – which frequently culminates in extremely innovative zero waste concepts – is now part of the design of products and productions. We can’t help but applaud the associated creativity, sophistication and focused dedication which is on display.
Whenever hazardous waste such as solvents, rinsing and washing water, acids, alkalis, salts or sewage sludge is produced during chemical and pharmaceutical processes (organic/inorganic) in the areas of industry and commerce, our core area of expertise comes into play. As a certified waste management company, we use best practice procedures to extract every component that can be recycled. Ideally, residual materials can be sold as by-products. Alternatively, we carry out a material conversion so as to make use of every opportunity to recover recyclable materials and return them to the materials cycle. In defined use cases, we also assign these tasks to qualified partners.
In the case of liquid and/or past-like hazardous waste that has no recycling potential, its energy content is at least made use of within the scope of the thermal recovery. An immobilization of hazardous waste (landfill) only occurs in exceptional cases.
It goes without saying that depending on its type, quantity and nature, hazardous waste from metal processing and electroplating can be very complex. The danger it poses to people and the environment can also be considerable. Despite this, here at G.V.S., we assess each type of hazardous waste from the perspective of a raw materials manufacturer. If valuable raw materials can be recovered from hazardous waste with the use of expertise and technology, everyone benefits: the environment, society, and you as a customer, as we can offer our waste management services at even better prices through value-adding measures.
When we are entrusted with hazardous waste from the metalworking and electroplating industries, our well-oiled machinery goes reliably to work: A team of experts from waste acceptance and the laboratory gets to the bottom of the environmentally harmful or toxic content. Potential recyclable materials are also detected during this stage. Once the legally compliant waste management concept is in place, treatment begins at our facility at Mannheim-Rheinau Harbour, which is approved according to the BImSchG. With a total volume of almost 7,000 m³ in several tanks, at this site, we have been handling liquid hazardous waste, often in the form of solvents, as well as rinsing and washing water and spent lyes and baths from metallurgy and electroplating, since the early 1980s.
As multi-layered as the matrix is in which most hazardous wastes are embedded: When it comes to proper and environmentally sound disposal, G.V.S. always primarily aims to recover raw materials. The recovery of a number of metals, some of which are rare, for example also from sludges and filter cakes from wastewater treatment, is not only advisable for economic or ecological reasons. Metals are also comparatively easy to recycle later on without any loss of quality.
Our uncompromisingly professional handling of hazardous waste ensures that it is only approved materials which enter the waste management cycle. And that the concerns of occupational health and safety and plant safety are also taken into account. And while we’re discussing this topic: Our digital back-up is a modern form of operations management software which uses a traffic light system to control and manage the certificates and authorisations of our staff team and service partners. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The IT solution also documents the status of the systems and equipment, including pending and completed maintenance activities, on a legally compliant basis.
Perhaps this is why we come across so impressively in customer audits and supplier assessments at large corporations, such as the DRIVE Sustainability Initiative or the TfS (Together for Sustainability) Initiative for the chemical industry. However, we ourselves simply view all of this as being good professional practice.
Waste management on behalf of the chemical industry accounts for more than half of our activities. This is for historical and regional reasons, as our headquarters in Mannheim are located in the Rhine-Neckar region – a hotspot of the chemical industry. Meanwhile, a total of 38 other industries use our services, ranging from the configuration of the waste management and laboratory analysis, to the treatment, storage and recycling of hazardous waste. These include metallurgy, automotive, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, plastics processing, surface treatment, electroplating, food manufacturing and public and/or government facilities. For customers primarily from the D.A.CH. region, France, Italy and the Benelux countries, in addition to our own laboratory, we operate a tank storage facility (7,000 m³) at Mannheim-Rheinau Harbour and maintain a transshipment terminal for tankers, two rail sidings and filling platforms for road tankers.
Hazardous waste is by its nature special. As waste with hazardous properties, its correct recycling requires equally exceptional skills and capacities. That is the one thing. Fundamental to the management of hazardous waste is also having detailed knowledge of all current waste-specific protective rules, regulations, ordinances and laws. This applies to every step, from the acceptance to storage, transport, treatment, recycling and disposal of the substances. That is the other thing. Both belong together, and identify G.V.S. as a sought-after waste management and trading at the regional, national and European levels.
In four decades as a waste management company, G.V.S. has developed an extensive network of customers and partners, especially in the core European countries. Our reputation for being able to rise successfully to the increasing challenges, especially with solvent-based and aqueous hazardous waste, comes before our performance. Since we, too, see ourselves as the bearers of the Green New Deal in Europe, all stakeholders can turn to us in the secure knowledge that we get it right, and not just from a commercial and legal perspective: The primary goal is and remains the reuse of the valuable materials that we recover from hazardous waste. Every time anew. This not only positions us in the heart of a key green industry. In this way, we also play our part in the ecological turnaround in European industrial society.