Since municipal waste is primarily a public sector responsibility, the formation of a large group of potential buyers is vital to ensure critical mass when collaborating on public procurement. This might however be hampered due to large disparities existing between countries regarding waste production and the waste management situation.
Therefore the PPI4Waste partners worked on the identification of specific targets and strategies for waste management, with the view to draw a complete map of targeted improvements and possible emerging solutions addressing the waste-to-resource challenges or system failures. In the next steps of the project, such identification will prepare procuring authorities to use PPI to push innovation and meet the future challenges in the waste sector.
To define the common needs and identify targeted improvments (the PPI potential for each of these needs), a methodology has been designed and is described in a report entitled “Common report on targeted improvements“. The project partners agreed to focus on the following needs: bio-waste management, plastic separation, bulky waste management, separate collection for specific waste streams, and decision support systems for waste management. A series of interviews of European experts were conducted in order to highlight existing barriers and possibilities to go through with a PPI within the waste management area in Europe. The interviews confirmed that PPI can play an important role for changes in the waste management chain, but also that countries start from different levels of development in the waste management area. Therefore, the interviews also analysed in a system perspective the potential for the implementation of PPI in national waste management of various countries via a ‘system readiness model’.
The report includes several recommendations regarding three aspects: the system readiness of waste management at national level, the impact of PPI at system level and the place of PPI in a policy mix. This study shows for example that the development of waste management in an innovative way does not rely only on the implementation of new technology, but rather on the total system, addressing all key aspects in the innovation system (in that perspective the system readiness model is particularly useful to identify these various aspects). Under a system perspective, which means including the whole chain from the procuring phase to the implementation, it is possible to get an idea of whether there is a potential for success in the implementation and the change that is needed.