For a Clean Future - Recycling with Responsibility

Interview with Carsten Haupt, Managing Director of MINERALplus GmbH

Carsten Haupt, Managing Director of MINERALplus GmbH
Carsten Haupt, Managing Director of MINERALplus GmbH

In the context of the debate on more climate protection and sustainability, the disposal and processing of waste is also becoming increasingly important. MINERALplus GmbH located in Gladbeck is a leading partner throughout Germany for the recycling of residuals. With an expansion of its own recycling capacities and the predominantly mineral use of environmentally friendly technologies, wherever possible, the company successfully meets the changing requirements of the market.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Haupt, what are the business areas of MINERALplus?

Carsten Haupt: We operate a landfill, dispose of industrial waste, process slag, and take over waste management for industrial customers. With our own mixing plant, we take over the production of backfill construction materials, and last but not least, we recover flue gas cleaning residues from waste-to-energy plants.

Wirtschaftsforum: How do you see yourself compared to other providers in the market?

MINERALplus Paste Backfill Plant
The paste backfill plant in Staßfurt

Carsten Haupt: In terms of utilizing waste from WTE (Waste-to-Energy) plants, we are one of the leading companies in Germany. Flue gas cleaning residues from WTE plants are essentially placed in mines or caverns. Here, we are the only provider with a patent for caverns.

Wirtschaftsforum: Where are your locations?

Carsten Haupt: In addition to our headquarters in Gladbeck, we own a landfill in Troisdorf and a backfilling plant for caverns in Staßfurt. Since 2021, we have been part of the EPH Group, under the EP Power Minerals division. Together with our subsidiaries Felix Höltken and MINERALplus Stork, we cover the waste and recycling sector for the group. MINERALplus Stork operates a slag processing plant in Zossen, Brandenburg, where around 100,000 tons of slag are processed each year, separating ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Felix Höltken operates a construction material recycling plant in Cologne, where construction material substitutes are produced from mineral waste, contributing to Urban Mining.

MINERALplus Material Mixing Plant in Gladbeck
The material mixing plant in Gladbeck

Wirtschaftsforum: How do you, in your industry, in your company, address the demands for more environmental protection?

Carsten Haupt: It's about future technologies for waste management. The fact is, currently, thermal waste recovery, the essential end-of-pipe technology for municipal waste in Germany, involves 50% fossil CO2 and 50% biogenic CO2. Real alternatives are not yet on the market. The EU requires the treatment or storage of CO2 in the future. Here, producers must think about, for example, CO2-free packaging. Separation for sorting facilities or combustion with slag, where metals and rare earths are recovered from slag, are also issues. The thermal energy is used for electricity or district heating. We only take residual materials from waste incineration plants and have a very good recycling rate. That means, the non-ferrous metals go back into the mills for processing. With a special formula, including flue gas residues from WIPs, a backfill material is produced, which can then be used in caverns or mines. This ensures the stabilization of the mine or the cavern. We, as a company, are planning to install photovoltaics for our large hall and on our landfill in Troisdorf. Our group conducts a climate balance according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Wirtschaftsforum: MINERALplus has been a sought-after partner in the market for almost 25 years. What do you attribute the success of the company to?

Carsten Haupt: We are very competent, reliable, and always try to find the best possible solution for our customers. We are an integral part of the thermal treatment with the utilization of flue gas cleaning residues from WIPs and the treatment of slags, without which disposal security would not be guaranteed.

Wirtschaftsforum: What is on your agenda for the year 2024?

Carsten Haupt: The capacities of our caverns and the landfill will eventually be exhausted. So, we need to think about how we can replace our sinks. That means we have to rely on inorganic growth and develop new projects. Therefore, we definitely want to buy one or two companies, thus expand our landfill capacities and generate valuable synergies. In addition, we will work intensively on the analysis and optimization of our processes. Internationally, France and the Czech Republic are on our action list. We might use locations from the EPH group here.

Wirtschaftsforum: Where do you want to see MINERALplus in the market in the long term?

Carsten Haupt: We want to grow significantly, become even more digital and even more customer-oriented. We will identify and create further sinks for slag and fly ash and expand our disposal capacities. I certainly see the potential to significantly improve our market position again. MP wants to grow in the area of mineral residual material utilization with the goal of developing from a waste management provider to a supplier of secondary raw materials (Goals: customer orientation, technology leadership).