Last November, Haniel supported the 2017 Designathon. During this event, 14 children aged between 8 and 12 met up in the SIL and developed ideas for how to protect the precious resource of water now and in the future. At the end of the day, jury member Daniel Willmes, Corporate Director of Business Development at CWS-boco, promised to invite the creative participants to the laundry in Neuss – and in mid-January, he kept his word.
A lively bunch
After a one-hour bus journey, the pupils arrived in Neuss after school at 3:20 p.m. There was not a hint of tiredness. Daniel Willmes and operations manager Jürgen Voss met the lively bunch of schoolchildren on the first floor of the laundry. “As a laundry, we keep a particularly close eye on our water and washing-powder consumption. Every day, we handle different textiles, which we can clean together or separately depending on the order,” Voss explained. “If an item of workwear weighs 500g on average, how much do two weigh?”, the site manager asked the group. Several hands went up.
The pupils seemed to have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. “What do you do if something goes wrong during cleaning? Have you ever had to go to court?”, asked Recep – and laughter broke out around the room. “My father has always got workwear on, too,” said one girl. “So we should go and see if we can find your dad's things downstairs in the laundry,” replied Voss promisingly. “But to do that, we need to follow hygiene rules.” To everyone's great delight, they all then had to put on a white protective gown and disinfect their hands - several times over.
Grin and bear it
In the spacious hall, the pupils were surrounded by huge mountains of laundry, large driers and entire washing systems. Above them, labelled items of clothing were being transported on large metal rails and sorted. Twins Estella and Luna were so impressed that they continued the tour arm in arm. Much of the process is performed by impressive high-tech equipment. While an average domestic washing machine holds 5kg, the biggest one here manages four times that. “With our modern washing facilities, as well as reducing our water and energy consumption, we can also have the clothing washed, dried, ironed and ready for transportation in just three hours,“, said Voss above the noise of the machines. Full of questions and observations, the young visitors kept putting their hands up.
When it came to looking round the water-treatment plant at the end, the pupils discovered that sustainability doesn't always smell nice. Adin and Emilia held their noses. As well as treating wastewater, the system also significantly reduces energy consumption.
However, the unpleasant smell didn't spoil everyone's overall enjoyment of the day. Back in the meeting room, there were drinks and cake. “I liked the folding machines best,” said Jannik. And a quiz on laundry facts and figures to round off the visit proved that the pupils also learned a thing or two. By way of a reward, everyone got to keep their protective gown, along with jute bag of merchandise. “I'm starting here tomorrow,“ declared Recep before getting back on the bus.
Site manager Voss also gave a positive verdict: “The questions were surprisingly good. In that respect, it was a pleasure to answer them. The issue of “water“ is obviously important to CWS-boco, and I'm happy to support initiatives that exposes children to responsible use of water.“ This certainly seems to have worked for those who took part in the Designathon and the laundry visit: Emilia and Jannik entered the “Young Researchers“ youth competition this year with their idea of a waste-disposal unit in water.