Newsletter #2
December 2015
Welcome to the second newsletter of the PPI4Waste project. The exploration of mechanisms to overcome barriers to public procurement of innovation in the waste sector has now started. Browse this newsletter to learn more about the latest developments and past activities of this work under progress.

The PPI4Waste project is also on Twitter: follow us on @PPI4Waste!

Public procurement as a key instrument in the new EU circular economy package 

n 2 December, the European Commission released its new package for a circular economy, including an action plan on circular economy and proposals to revise the Waste Framework Directive and the packaging Directive. Among the key elements included in the package, the Commission proposed a series of measures to boost resource efficiency in Europe, in particular increased municipal waste recycling rates to 65% and increased packaging waste recycling rates to 75% by 2030, as well as a progressive decrease of landfil rate to 10% by 2030.
The new EU circular economy package also gives public procurement a key role in the circular economy and includes targeted actions to foster the use of this instrument. Indeed, public authorities represent between 15-20% of European annual consumption and therefore have the power to influence the market by demanding and supporting more resource efficient products and services. In particular, the EU action plan for a circular economy mentions that the European Commission will take action on Green Public Procurement (GPP), by emphasising circular economy aspects in new or revised set of criteria, supporting higher uptake of GPP.

In parallel, innovation and support for innovation can support circular economy by favouring the improvement of material resource and waste management processes. Support for innovation via public funding, implicitly including procurement of innovation, is a key element underlined by the EU action plan, especially with the view to foster the implementation of the waste hierarchy and to reach the new recycling targets mentioned in the proposals of Directives. The package mentions the particular importance of the development of new recycling technologies, in particular for plastic waste.

Therefore, even if public procurement of innovation is not explicitly mentioned in the new EU package, it is clearly a key economic instrument with the power to support and accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Considering that local and regional authorities ultimately have the responsibility to implement the appropriate schemes in order to reach the circular economy package objectives, especially in terms of waste management, the outputs of the PPI4Waste project will be crucial for facilitating the increased use of this instrument.

Read more about the EU circular economy package.

Successful procurement and circular economy workshops in Brussels

Over 50 experts in public procurement of innovation (PPI), public authorities and other actors of the field met in Brussels during a two-day event organised by ACR+ on 29 and 30 October, in the framework of the PPI4Waste project.

On the first day, the participants took part in the Procurement Foresight Workshop, during which they discussed the needs and solutions for PPI in the field of waste and material resources, thanks to a series of key-note speeches and panel discussions. Topics like bio-waste collection and treatment, bulky waste management, plastics separation as well as waste prevention were tackled. It was also the occasion for the PPI4Waste partners to officially launch two groups: the so-called Interest Group and Purchasing Community.

The Interest Group is an online gathering open to all stakeholders interested in waste management. It will provide useful information and peer to peer exchange for municipal waste management experts, procurers, policy makers, and suppliers. The Interest Group will put diverse stakeholders in touch with one another to share knowledge and practical experiences in implementing innovative waste solutions. Group members will be the first to hear about upcoming PPI4Waste trainings and will be kept up to date with the latest innovations in the field.

The Purchasing Community provides an exclusive opportunity to procurers who are involved in the procurement of waste management solutions in the public sector. Group members will be given the chance to improve their knowledge of the innovative solutions available on the market and take part in webinars, face-to-face meetings and trainings with other procurers.

If you would like to join the interest group and have not done it yet, don't wait any longer and sign up online!
On the second day, the participants could join the third workshop of the Circular Europe Network, an initiative led by ACR+ to support local and regional authorities in being ambitious on circular economy.  This workshop focused on public procurements as a tool to favour circular economy. It was divided into three sessions, made of key note speeches and round-table discussions, on sustainable public procurement including green public procurement (GPP), public procurement of innovation (PPI) and waste performance contracts. The workshop ended by the presentation, before its launch, of the website of the Circular Europe Network which features a comprehensive database of best practices on circular economy from cities and regions, available in full to ACR+ members.

The different presentations are available online: on the PPI4Waste project website for the presentations made during the Procurement Foresight Workshop and on the Circular Europe Network website for those of the second day (available only to ACR+ members).

Needs and priorities

Within the PPI4Waste project, interviews have been conducted with 14 different contracting authorities. Over 100 needs emerged within the waste management area. In this stage a method to analyze, cluster and prioritize different needs was developed by SP.

A pre-analysis of the needs was conducted including a screening, an estimation of whether the needs are procurable or not, and a clustering of the identified needs. The needs were clustered according to the steps in the waste chain and also according to overarching topics such as awareness, policy, support systems etc. A full analysis and prioritization of needs was conducted through a workshop format involving all PPI4Waste partners during the first semester 2015. The analysis aimed to prioritize the needs by selecting the most important ones, and also included the crucial aspect of assessing if the needs are procurable or not. To this end, a map with a spidergraph was used.

The model was used to visualize the impact of different needs relative to each other. On each axis in the spider graph there is one aspect of the need.

As an example three needs prioritized from the interview might have a similar impact in the spider graph model and the visualisation helps in finding the aspects that differ.

This helped focus discussions and the prioritization of what identified needs to regard in choosing the common needs.
These identified needs must be translated into practical concrete needs that can be procured. There are many drivers and influences on the process of identifying needs in the direction of the policy maker’s ambitions.
In principal we find four areas influencing the needs and the search for innovative solutions:
  • Mission or Policy articulating demands on restraints directly influencing needs. This is the local interpretation of the EU waste challenges.
  • Market initiated development and opportunities creating needs for change.
  • Needs discovered in evaluating past and current procurements and situations
  • The internal process of finding better ways of doing things.

During the partners’ workshop, in order to find strong “common needs”, the partners and experts were asking questions and assessing how strong needs where relative each other, for instance:
  • Is it possible to procure a solution to the need? Is procurement only a part of the changes needed for the solution?
  • Is there an interest and the right conditions for collaborative initiative? Within the project? In real world?
  • Is there leverage from buyers groups potentially interested in meeting the needs? Is this interesting for a larger group of buyers?
  • On what level in the waste hierarchy is the need located? What change could the solutions create? What size and impact is probable?
  • How will the solutions to the need reduce the envioronmental impact? Will it reduce the environmental footprint? Is this only covering one type of waste? Does the related waste fraction have a large footprint? Are there other important environmental improvements?
  • How big are the efficiency gains or savings if the need is met? What is the impact on more efficient waste handling?
Through this process, project partners agreed on selecting five common needs that might be met by procurement activities:
  1. Bio waste management;
  2. Plastic separation;
  3. Bulky waste management;
  4. Separate collection for specific waste streams/development of collection points;
  5. Decision support system for waste management.
The next step in this part of the project is to investigate the potential for procurement of innovation to solve our five identified needs in the waste management chain.

State of the Art

The state of the art of the PPI4Waste project aims to facilitate the identification of innovative solutions, with high potential for the PPI process. It is a complementary step to the definition of common needs previously identified from the waste management public sector in Europe, to set the ground for PPI preparation in the waste sector.

The state of the art will support the identification of specific innovative solutions on bio-waste collection and treatment, plastic waste separation, bulky waste and decision support systems for waste management. This will help preparing the open technical dialogue between public buyers and the supply side that will be conducted during the first trimester of 2016 in the framework of PPI4Waste.

In that perspective, the state of the art is designed as an orientation paper which will facilitate the meeting of demand and offer on innovative solutions for municipal waste management.

The state of the art identifies the main drivers for innovation and describes, in general terms, the current situation in Europe regarding the municipal waste management.

The main drivers for innovation identified are related to targets included in waste policies as well as with environmental and economic benefits resulting from the adoption of new solutions for municipal waste management.

In that sense, European Directives on waste such as the Landfill Directive, the Waste Framework Directive and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive are some of the main pieces of legislation providing specific targets related to bio-waste, plastic waste and bulky waste. In addition, the recently proposed Circular Economy Package is being analysed in order to identify how it could affect municipalities and which measures included in the package could be drivers for innovation in the field of municipal waste management.

The current situation in municipal waste management in Europe varies significantly between Members States. In fact there are broad differences regarding waste production, collection models and treatment technologies as well as regarding the implementation of European Directives on waste. One of the main consequences is that innovation on waste can be understood in different ways among Member States and even among regions in the same country: while one solution can be innovative in one region it may be non-innovative in other region.

©European Commission
Another objective of the state of the art is to identify what are the main trends on innovation in the field of bio-waste, plastic waste and bulky waste in line with the main European strategies and initiatives such as the European Bioeconomy Strategy, the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials or the Public Private Partnership Biobased Industry.

Finally the state of the art will include the description of potential innovative solutions as examples of successful cases of innovation in municipal waste management.
Meet Mancomunidad del Sur

Mancomunidad del Sur, one of the partners of the PPI4Waste project, is formed by 71 municipalities covering more than 1,885,000 inhabitants in 2012, being one of the largest associations of the Spanish territory. Its role in the PPI4Waste project is, among others, to provide a public authorities’ perspective on the solutions developed by the project and test these solutions.

Mancomunidad is in charge of municipal waste management from the transfer station to the facilities where it is finally treated and / or deposited.
The waste collection and transport to the transfer station is a competence of the municipalities served by Mancomunidad del Sur. All municipalities are dealing with the same fractions, but Mancomunidad del Sur is only responsible for managing the organic and mixed fractions as well as the packaging waste.

Mancomunidad del Sur is responsible for the treatment and disposal of organic and residual fractions. Regarding packaging waste, the Mancomunidad is responsible for its processing, ECOEMBES being responsible for the management of the recovered fraction. Likewise, Mancomunidad del Sur manages other waste streams that are taken to specific facilities for their treatment or final disposal:
  • Pruning waste (Villanueva de la Cañada composting plant and Pinto landfill)
  • Bulky waste (Pinto landfill)
  • Commercial and industrial waste assimilated to urban waste (Pinto landfill)       
The major identified gap is the lack of treatment prior to pouring of about 85% of the organic waste and mixed fractions, bulky waste, commercial and industrial waste assimilated to urban waste.

The most important necessities of the Mancomunidad are:
  • Increase the rate of waste before final landfill disposal for organic and mixed fractions.
  • Improve the pretreatment of the anaerobic digestion plant.
  • New systems for the bulky waste treatment.
  • Expand the capacity of bio-waste treatment.
  • Optimize the packaging waste facility. The aim is to separate plastic packaging, cans and bricks.
  • Sealing and degassing the landfill.
  • Increase the capacity of the landfill to reach the management needs after the previous treatments.
  • Implement pilot experiences of selective waste collection of the organic fraction to large producers.
  • Communication campaigns and public awareness.
Regarding the aforementioned exposed necessities, the main improvements proposed as a whole would be:
  • Reduce the overall waste generation in the area of the Mancomunidad.
  • Increase the percentage of recycled materials.
  • Increase the percentage of waste treated before landfilling.
  • Increase the percentage of packaging waste collected separately.   
Finally, after several meetings it was decided to prioritize to the following needs in order to find innovative solutions to improve some of the main problems in many administrations:
  • To improve the pretreatment of the anaerobic digestion plant.
  • To optimize the packaging waste facility.
With the aim of complying with Royal Decree 1481/2001 and the Law 22/2011, of 28 July 2011, on waste and contaminated soil, adequate treatment facilities with sufficient capacity should be built in order to manage increased rates of collected waste, including the organic fraction, bulky waste, pruning, and commercial and industrial waste assimilated to urban waste.

More information:

What's next?

Upcoming events
  • ACR+, Zagreb City Holding, the Dutch Ministry of Environment and Infrastructure, and the University of Zaragoza, in collaboration with IAT and Mancomunidad del Sur,  will organize events in their member states in March 2016 to set up a market dialogue. In these ‘meet the market events’ a dialogue aims to improve the market knowledge of contracting authorities and the suppliers understanding of public needs. The market dialogues must lead to increased knowledge of options, suppliers, trends in municipalities and potential for coordinated efforts of contracting authorities.
Save the date

  • The 4th Project Management Board meeting of the PPI4Waste partners will be organized on April 25 and 26 2016 in Bilbao. This meeting will take place on the eve of the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns (27-29 April 2016), organized by ICLEI.
  • During this meeting on 26 April 2016 there will be a half-day international state of the art workshop showing latest solutions relevant for public procurers and suppliers of the waste management sector, based on the findings of the market dialogue events in Belgium, Croatia, Spain and the Netherlands.



This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 642451