A look at the 100-year history of the DGM shows, however, that our society initially reacted rather hesitantly. Both the Verein Deutscher Eisenhüttenleute (VDEh) and the Gesellschaft Deutscher Metallhütten- und Bergleute began to deal with air pollution control in the 1950s - the most pressing environmental problem at the time. As early as 1971, the VDEh and the Verein Deutscher Gießereifachleute founded their own environmental committees.
A look at DGM history also shows that recycling is not an invention of our time. The former chairman of the DGM, Otto Asbeck, explained at the 1975 general meeting in Nuremberg that the process of corrosion and oxidation could be seen as a reversal of the process of ore reduction: "According to Asbeck, this "cycle of nature" had been topical in practice and research for a long time before the buzzword ´Recycling´ came up. Despite this interest within its own ranks, the DGM board decided at that time not to establish its own committee here, but to give interested members the opportunity "to participate in the work of the VDEh in the field of environmental protection".
Unfortunately, one can make from today only assumptions, why the DGM - despite the certainly existing consciousness opposite the environmental problem - renounced also in the following decades its own environmental or recycling committee. It was not until 1995 that a focal point of the general meeting in Bochum was devoted to the topic of "Materials science aspects in recycling".
Today, among others, the DGM Technical Committee "Aluminium" is involved in recycling. And the BMBF project MatRessource on materials for greater resource efficiency, which is accompanied by the DGM, has also been pioneering in this field since 2012. Here, too, the DGM is well on its way into its second century.
With this in mind, I wish you a stimulating and fruitful reading of our newsletter.
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Helmut Maier
Ruhr University Bochum
Head of DGM Committee of Experts History