Several employees of Cologne, Germany-based equipment maker Steinert GmbH have participated in a Rhine River litter cleanup campaign in their home town.
Volunteers spent part of a Saturday in mid-September picking up “packaging waste, various plastics, discarded plastic ice-cream spoons, lots of glass, [bottle] caps and cigarette stubs” lying near the shore of the river. The company says some of this letter may ultimately have flowed to the ocean, contributing to a global pollution problem.
The time donated by the Steinert employees was part of a larger effort on Sept. 15 that involved volunteers in four countries and 50 cities who helped clean up the Rhine River valley along some 1,234 kilometers (766 miles) of its length.
“When we heard about the action in Cologne, we immediately felt addressed and [we] participated,” says Andreas Jäger, global sales director of the Waste Division at Steinert. “Waste belongs on our sorting machines and then back into the recycling cycle—but not in the oceans.”
Steinert says it has supplied hundreds of sorting systems to processing plants worldwide, making it a leader in discarded materials sorting. “Before the secondary raw materials can be reused, they must be separated according to type. This is what we are committed to with our technologies of magnetic and sensor-based sorting,” states Jäger.
The campaign was thus a matter of the heart for the Steinert employees, says Jäger, adding that “anyone who has experienced the extent of careless waste disposal up close will be sensitized to [the role of] responsible waste management.”
Steinert was founded in Cologne in 1889 in Cologne. The family-run business now has some 300 employees and describes itself as one of the world’s leading companies in magnetic separation and sensor sorting, with some €100 million ($116 million) in annual sales.