REMONDIS Aqua Company locations

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Sewage sludge recycling

Sewage sludge recycling

Extensive capacities. Now and in the future

Reliable sludge treatment services in unreliable times

Thanks to its know-how and innovative processes, REMONDIS Aqua is the company to turn to when it comes to recycling municipal and industrial sludge. And the same is true for infrastructure waste and/or residue generated by wastewater treatment systems (screenings, grit chamber residue, sand from sewers). Both our expertise and our extensive plant capacities make it possible for us to guarantee that we can provide a reliable, long-term service. This is something that will become even more important in the future when local authorities find themselves facing the genuine problem of having to recover and recycle the phosphorus in their sewage sludge from 2029 onwards – a statutory obligation set out in the German Federal Sewage Sludge Ordinance [AbfKlärV] when it was amended in 2017. On top of this, sewage sludge will no longer be able to be co-incinerated in cement kilns and coal-fired power stations in the future.

It’s not just quantity that’s important when it comes to recycling sewage sludge but quality as well, of course. And so it’s good to know that we accept all types of sewage sludge – no matter how contaminated it is or what its origin – and are able to recover the phosphorus and recycle it for reuse. We are always able to find the best treatment solution for each individual case within our nationwide network of plants and facilities. By the way, this is also true for the logistics. We have the perfect set-up thanks to digitisation and collaborations with over 200 haulage firms – ensuring we remain close to our customers, cut carbon emissions by planning smart transport routes and deliver efficient, standout services.

Sewage sludge recycling – who to contact:

Ralf Czarnecki

T +49 621 8048-782

Go straight to the benefits

A full range of sewage sludge recycling services

Concept development

We draw up bespoke treatment and recycling concepts – from dewatering and drying sludge, to emptying and treating the contents of sludge drying beds, all the way through to removing and processing wet sludge from settling ponds.


We offer our sludge treatment services throughout Germany and Europe. Across all regions and across national borders.

Permits & notifications

We always look to support our customers wherever we can which also means helping them apply for permits. If requested, we can also help them with the notification procedure for transboundary shipments.


We are able to organise the transport of sludge by road, rail and ship and can offer the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution here as well.


We handle the dewatering, conditioning and drying of the sludge residue to make the treatment as cost-efficient and environmentally friendly as possible for you. All in all, we offer a comprehensive range of services for sewage treatment plant operators.


Our goal is to reduce our customers’ workload as much as possible and so we also draw up all the waste management papers required and, if requested, document how the energy recovery cuts carbon emissions.

We firmly believe that thermally treating sewage sludge without recovering the phosphorus is not recycling the sewage sludge!

The future of sewage sludge recycling. Right here and right now

The ideal way to recycle sewage sludge is, without doubt, to have a system that combines energy recovery and phosphorus recovery. This ensures, on the one hand, that organic pollutants are eliminated and, on the other, that recyclable materials (such as phosphorus and metals) and energy are recovered. Phosphorus recovery is nothing less than the perfect combination of waste management, cost efficiency and ecology. And we are certainly proud here at REMONDIS Aqua to be playing a pioneering role across Europe when it comes to delivering the most effective sewage sludge recycling systems. This is a subject that is very close to our hearts and has been for a long while: we developed patented phosphorus recovery processes long before politicians and businesses really began focusing on the topic. As a result, we have gathered all the experience and data needed to prove that we can offer our customers well-functioning, high performance phosphorus recovery systems that can be run on an industrial scale.

Bespoke partnerships. On an equal footing

We see ourselves as being a customer-oriented service provider when it comes to recycling sewage sludge. This means that we handle and treat your sewage sludge exactly as you wish us to do. Our overall goal here is to find the most cost-effective and most environmentally friendly treatment method. No matter whether we take the sewage sludge from our municipal and industrial customers to treat it in our own facilities or collaborate with our customers to build a sludge treatment facility on their grounds and then operate it on their behalf. All the while remaining true to our premise that we always share our knowledge and experience of recovering phosphorus if doing this has a positive and sustainable impact. Another important aspect here: the closer and longer we cooperate with one another, the more you benefit as our customer. For example, when it comes to having access to long-term, reliable waste management solutions, to ensuring plant availability and to achieving cost reductions. This also makes us an attractive partner for public private collaborations tasked to provide key public sector services.

Sustainability and sewage sludge recycling. The perfect duo

Besides being cost efficient, future sewage sludge recycling systems – including phosphorus recovery – are also good for natural resources and good for the climate. Indeed, it’s true to say that this is a win-win for sustainability. As far as raw materials are concerned, such systems recover recyclable substances such as phosphorus, metal, gypsum and minerals – helping to conserve natural resources. And, looking at energy, thermally treating sewage sludge helps to reduce consumption of fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions. This has a particularly good impact on the sustainability efforts being made by local authorities: modern sewage sludge recycling processes operated by and with REMONDIS Aqua can help them to considerably improve their carbon footprint. We are, therefore, the perfect fellow campaigner and supporter for all local authorities that are striving to achieve net zero.

Would you like to find out more about how we can support you in the area of sewage sludge recycling? Then give us a call or use our contact form.

Sewage sludge recycling references

Proper water management should always include material flow management and sewage sludge recycling. And that’s not just our opinion. Our many German and European customers think the same, some of who have been working with us for many years now. We have listed a few of them from Germany below so that you can find out more. First-hand accounts that will win you over.

Take a look at some of our other public sector references

Hamburger Phosphorrecyclinggesellschaft mbH

The world’s first ever industrial-scale phosphorus recovery facility was built in Hamburg by HPHOR (Hamburger Phosphorrecyclinggesellschaft mbH) – a public private partnership between HAMBURG WASSER and REMONDIS Aqua. The goal here is to use REMONDIS’ patented TetraPhos® process to produce 7,000 tonnes of ultra-pure phosphoric acid (called REPACID®) from 20,000 tonnes of input material every year. The environmental footprint of this product is 60% better than that of imported phosphoric acid produced using virgin raw material – helping to conserve natural resources and curb climate change. This patented system was presented with the GreenTec Award back in 2016.

Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe Köln AöR

We have been responsible for transporting and recycling the sewage sludge (almost 80,000 tonnes per year) from the five sewage treatment plants located across Cologne on behalf of Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe Köln (StEB Köln) since 1998. What’s more, we also treat the screenings in the city’s waste incineration plant and the grit chamber residue in regional soil treatment facilities. Working closely together with REMONDIS Aqua, Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe Köln is continuously looking to optimise its processes. The benefits for StEB Köln are obvious: the whole range of services needed by the company is provided by REMONDIS Aqua – from the in-house logistics, to the transport, through to the final treatment of the material. The situation at the main sewage treatment plant in Cologne-Stammheim is particularly unusual. Being one of the largest sewage treatment plants (1,570,000 population equivalents) in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the sewage sludge has to be collected and transported away for treatment 365 days a year. 100% of the sewage sludge generated in Cologne is used for energy recovery, i.e. it is incinerated and used to produce electricity and steam. Together with StEB Köln, REMONDIS Aqua is not only helping to reduce consumption of fossil fuels but also to actively conserve natural reserves of phosphate.

Rhein-Neckar-Phosphor-Recycling GmbH & Co. KG

Rhein-Neckar-Phosphor-Recycling GmbH & Co. KG is an alliance between practically all of the sewage treatment plants (with more than 750,000 population equivalents) located in the Rhine-Neckar District. REMONDIS Aqua is responsible for transporting and recycling the 30,000 tonnes of sewage sludge from these plants until 2030. By generating energy from this sewage sludge, REMONDIS Aqua is actively helping to curb climate change and cut consumption of fossil fuels.

Entsorgungsverband Saar

Entsorgungsverband Saar (EVS) is a special purpose association owned by all local and district authorities in Germany’s Saarland region. This association is responsible for treating the wastewater and managing the waste generated across the region. EVS operates 140 sewage and wastewater treatment plants in Saarland, including all main sewer pipes, pumping stations and special structures connected to these. REMONDIS Aqua has been in charge of controlling material flow management at practically all of these sewage treatment plants since 2016. Each year, it organises the transport of practically all of the 66,000 tonnes of sewage sludge produced in the region and recycles it at six different treatment facilities on behalf of EVS. Having just one company manage this material stream not only saves time but also reduces costs and guarantees that EVS has access to reliable and top quality sludge treatment.

City of Kiel

The Bülk sewage treatment plant in Strande treats 19 million cubic metres of wastewater every year – which means it handles, on average, 52,000 cubic metres of wastewater a day. Each year, the wastewater treatment processes produce around 36,000 Mg of sewage sludge (original substance). This material used to be treated in plate-and-frame filter presses with iron and lime. The limed sludge has not been allowed to be spread on agricultural land since 2020 because of its increased mercury content and has been thermally treated since then. The plate-and-frame filter presses were decommissioned in September 2022. At the moment, the sludge is mixed with polymer additives, dewatered using centrifuges and thermally treated to generate energy.

City of Lübeck

Entsorgungsbetriebe Lübeck operates two sewage treatment plants in the City of Lübeck – the main sewage treatment plant (the ‘ZKW’ in the Warthestraße) and the Priwall sewage treatment plant in Travemünde. Since being commissioned in 1967, the ZKW has been steadily extended and upgraded. So much so, in fact, that it is now one of the largest and most modern sewage treatment plants in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Each year, around 20 million cubic metres of wastewater (around 420,000 population equivalents) undergo high quality treatment. The concentrated raw sludge from the Priwall sewage treatment plant is transported to the ZKW so that it can be treated together with the main plant’s sludge. All of the sewage sludge is first stabilised using anaerobic processes, dewatered and then stored in a silo before being taken on for further treatment. Approximately 22,500 Mg of dewatered sewage sludge (original substance) is generated here; all of it is thermally treated to generate energy.

Abwasserverband Saale

Abwasserverband Saale is a public corporation and operates the association’s sewage treatment plant (290,000 population equivalents) in Hof. This plant treats the wastewater from 14 local districts as well as from industrial businesses and commercial firms based in its catchment area. Its operations generate around 11,000 tonnes of dewatered sewage sludge every year. This is loaded onto semi-trailers via moving floor containers. REMONDIS Aqua is responsible for treating all of this sewage sludge in line with all rules and regulations; 100% of this material is thermally treated at three power stations in order to generate energy.

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