Invited Session: Circular Economy

Circular Economy in Hamburg (0.5 CEU)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
8:45 – 9:15
Room 319

Moderator: Ramona Simpson, Environmental Programs Supervisor, Town of Queen Creek, Arizona

After closing a waste incineration plant in Hamburg, Germany, the planning of a new efficient and sustainable recycling center on the same location started. The prospective plant has to fulfil the main targets of supporting the recycling offensive in Hamburg: extracting recyclable material from municipal waste and generating climate-friendly heat and power. Stadtreinigung Hamburg is developing this center for resources and energy, ZRE (Zentrum für Ressourcen und Energie), which consists of five different units interacting closely with each other. The ZRE can generate up to 61 MW of heat, 11 MW electrical power and 8 million m3 biogas in total. As only a small part of this is used for self-supply, the ZRE can cover at least 20 percent of the district heating demand in the western part of the city, thus supporting the exit from fossil fuel energy for district heating purposes in Hamburg. Consequently, the ZRE is playing a vital role in the redesign of Hamburg’s heat supply and its ability to reduce climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions. The ZRE is the first waste treatment plant (in Germany) to combine nearly all kinds of waste treatment technologies: mechanical, biological and thermal processes.

Following this presentation, participants will be able to understand and evaluate different ways of waste treatment with reference to gain reusable products and generate climate-friendly heat and electrical power. Moreover, the participants will get an impression of a high sophisticated waste treatment facility with maximum output of heat, electrical power and recyclable material and minimal interplant transportation. Afterwards, they will evaluate the meaning of circular economy not only for Hamburg, but worldwide.


Ronja Grumbrecht, Process Engineer, Stadtreinigung Hamburg, Germany

Ronja Grumbrecht

Ronja Grumbrecht holds a Bachelor’s degree in biological engineering and a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering with focus on energy and process engineering from the Technical University of Braunschweig (Germany). Since 2015 she has been working for Stadtreinigung Hamburg. As process engineer she is working in the planning team for the center for resources and energy (ZRE). Her field of work is the mass flow and energy management for ZRE. Since 2016 she is also working on her Ph.D. thesis at the Technical University of Hamburg, which deals with the optimized use of waste resources in Hamburg in order to gain climate-friendly energy.