Waste treatment companies come to aid of flooded German towns

A flood caused unprecedented destruction in the German Ahrweiler district in mid-July this year. More than 140 people died in the flash floods, at least 17,000 lost everything they had.

When disaster-recovery workers arrived on the scene, they were confronted with a picture of utter devastation. Bulky waste clogged the streets and alleys, mountains of driftwood piled up on the banks of the Ahr River, meadows and former sports facilities.

The German army transports Lindner’s shredder to the operation site.
(Copyright Kockmann)

Many volunteers supported the hard-hit population. Among the helpers are the waste management company Wertstoff- & Recyclinghof Kockmann from Ochtrup, 250 km away. CEO Martin Brinkschmidt personally delivered Lindner Recyclingtech’s Urraco 95DK to the area devastated by the Ahr.

Using Lindner’s mobile Urraco 95DK universal shredder, the Kockmann company is supporting the clean-up efforts on the ground. Recycling specialist Lindner contributed the rotor, the heart of the shredder, free of charge.

“That’s more or less how I imagine a war zone to be,” said Martin Brinkschmidt after his arrival at the flooded area. He reported collapsed houses, washed away bridges and lots of rubbish.

“There is a lot to do. We are dealing with the mountains of driftwood. Lindner specifically sent us two technicians to personally install the powerful and robust LW-10.10 twin-shaft cutting system, which is also perfectly suitable for bulky waste wood.”

The Kockmann company with the Urraco 95DK cleaning-up in the disaster area
(Copyright Lindner)

“When our customers set out to help in a disaster area, we are more than happy to support them,” said Wulf Schellwanich, Sales Manager at Lindner Recyclingtech.

“Our Urraco mobile shredder is inherently versatile and can be used for wood, waste wood, metal and bulky goods. Each material has different requirements and the twin-shaft cutting system we install in each Urraco is adapted to the specifics of the input material. In the beginning, we didn’t know how to best support the disaster relief efforts on the ground. When the Urraco was called in to shred driftwood, we immediately dispatched an installation team to make the shredder fit for the specific requirements.”

This twin-shaft cutting system is incredibly resistant to non-shreddables, which is critical in situations like these. The driftwood in the flooded area is mixed up with mud and stones as well as materials such as mattresses, metal grates and other objects that were washed out of cellars and living rooms.

The specifically designed pull-in rippers ensure that the material is shredded with maximum efficiency. These rippers pull the material into the rotor with special hooks, achieving continuous material feeding and a consistent throughput quality.

“The material we shred is very special – heavily soaked, muddy and rich in minerals. In terms of power and performance, this is not a challenge for the Urraco. We shred more than 50 metric tons of material an hour,” said Brinkschmidt. “And we do that 12 to 14 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Although the clean-up has been in full swing for over a month, the Kockmann employees will probably remain on site with the Urraco for another two to three months and support the disaster relief in their clean-up efforts.