CIRCULAZE on Tour: BMW Recycling- und Demontagezentrum

On April 25th, we went on tour with #CIRCULAZE for the first time! Together with our amazing partners, we are involved in exciting circular economy projects. Check out all of the takeaways from our day at BMW here


Our trip to the BMW Recycling- und Demontagezentrum (RDZ) in Unterschleißheim started with a warm welcome from CURAZE founders Claus Schuster and Natascha Zeljko. Janine Thies, Circular Economy and Recycling Manager at BMW Group, gave us a short overview on the topic of the circular economy and its relevance for all businesses. Biggest takeaway: it starts with MINDSET! The big event of the day: a tour through the Recycling- und Demontagezentrum! We got a behind the scenes look at where all the magic happens and an exclusive tour by Steffen Aumann, Head of the BMW Recycling Center and an expert on the topic of circularity!

Some interesting facts about the BMW Recycling- und Demontagezentrum:

  • They are the biggest in Germany
  • Around 50 cars per a day are recycled
  • Most of these cars are test cars, which cannot be used in traffic
  • There are 4 main steps to the recycling process:

First comes the classification of reusable parts and the ‘explosion’ to remove explosives in airbags for safety reasons (otherwise the parts could explode at any time.) Our Co-founder Natascha got to test out the magic button to make the airbags explode – definitely a golden moment of the day! Next liquids are removed from each car followed by the removal of the engines. And in the fourth, and maybe most exciting step, the car is squeezed into a small box by a large metal compressor. These car boxes are then sent on to another location where materials are sorted out through several processes (e.g., magnets). Quite the experience to witness live!

Zirkularität von Heute, braucht Lösungen von Morgen. (Circularity of today, needs solutions of tomorrow.)

BMW Recycling- und Demontagezentrum (RDZ) Slogan

Back in the quiet of our conference room (recycling centers can be quite noisy after all), we were able to ask questions and discuss what we saw as well as take a small break for lunch. Our guests were able to network more and try all of the delicious dishes from our catering service, Flavoury. We also had a very special impulse session by Laura Engelhardt, Head of Technology and Innovation Strategy at Siemens. She made clear that the most important part for success is the human itself and to be aware of what is important for us. A discussion with the audience revealed personal life stories and difficulties to implement their personal values into their companies. It even got emotional when a BMW employee shared a conversation he had with his daughter about the future of our planet. To close, everyone was asked to share their golden moments of the day. It was great to hear so many diverse perspectives and takeaways and to see how the topic brought everyone together.

A big thank you to all of our guests for making the journey to Munich to attend, and especially Janine Thies, Steffen Aumann, and BMW Group for hosting us. As we say at CIRCULAZE, #cantdoitalone.

Interested in joining events like CIRCULAZE on Tour? Get in touch with us today to find out how you can become a partner and join our circular economy initiative.


CIRCULAZE, an initiative launched by business network CURAZE, was started to connect pioneers in sustainable business management and thought leaders to form a network together with the most relevant start- and scale-ups in the field of the Circular Economy. The goal of the community is to establish a powerful ecosystem, to exchange good practices, and inspire each other on the path to even more sustainable companies. Our motto: Can't Do It Alone.

Learn more about CIRCULAZE here.



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