How to generate an added value out of waste

Where others see garbage, Grigorij Wagner sees gold. At least in a metaphorical sense; with his company rub Berlin GmbH, which specialises in recycling, the environment and biotechnology, he focuses on the production of new and high-quality products out of all types of residual materials.

“We specialise in materials and plastics that cannot be reutilised properly: mixed plastic waste, dirty waste and things that many would consider useless,” says Wagner.

From these raw materials, which are difficult to reutilise, he makes, for example, UV-resistant and water-repellent decking boards. At some point, he hopes, the hollow decking boards will also be used to generate energy through heat exchangers.

Robust railway sleepers can also be made out of residual materials; to this end a hollow plastic piece is filled with concrete: “In this case, we combine the advantages of a concrete sleeper with the ones of a plastic sleeper, namely high durability and reduced noise emissions.” This is particularly important for railway tracks in urban areas.

Wagner patents his inventions and believes he is far from reaching the limits of his creativity. He only wants one thing from politicians: a simplification of the application process for financial assistance so that small companies with fewer employees can apply more easily. Brandenburg provides him with a perfect environment for creative product concepts: “The research potential that we have here in the region, and, of course, the well-qualified people, hold a huge potential for the state of Brandenburg in particular,” says Wagner.