Effective waste management heavily depends on the development of new solutions for collection and treatment. Public procurement – and PPI particularly – can stimulate the market in that direction and invest in new, more efficient solutions for municipal waste management to meet European objectives.

Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI) occurs when public authorities act as an early adopter of innovative solutions which are not yet available on large scale commercial basis.


  • Promoting technological and social innovation in the field of material resource and product management in order to reduce the quantity of waste to be managed;
  • Promoting technological and social innovation in the field of material resource and product management in order to improve waste management (sorting, collection, treatment).

Sectors most suited for this type of procurement

  • Waste prevention (e.g. virtualisation of documents and communication, home and community composting equipment, services from social economy associations to implement repair workshops, etc.);
  • Waste sorting (e.g. sorting bins with electronic chips, high efficiency sensors and sorting systems in sorting plant, etc.);
  • Waste collection (e.g. buried collection systems, bring banks with compression system, etc.);
  • Waste treatment (e.g. recycling facility for difficult streams like plastics, micro-scale or large scale anaerobic digestion plant, etc.).

Public Procurement of Innovation in the Waste Management Sector – the PPI4Waste Project

In the field of public procurement of innovation related to resource efficiency and waste management this document will specifically focus on the PPI4Waste project and the activities and training material developed during that project.

From January 2015 to September 2017, the PPI4Waste project gathered 8 partners, including ACR+ who had to take the lead at the end of the project, and aimed at exploring mechanisms to overcome barriers to public procurement of innovation in the waste sector.

The PPI4Waste project covers the complete cycle of preparation activities to implement PPI in municipal waste management, separated into 4 main steps. Reports and other material have been developed to summarize and present the work conducted by PPI4waste project partners during each of these steps. This can be considered as a model for the preparation and implementation of public procurement of innovation in the waste management sector.


1.     Step 1: Needs Assessment

Project partners worked on the identification and definition of most frequent needs of public buyers in the field of municipal waste management in terms of waste-to-resource challenges or system failures (so-called ‘common needs’), with the view of drawing a map of targeted improvements and possible emerging solutions addressing these needs.

This report presents the methodology designed and applied by the project consortium to prioritize the needs of public buyers and reach an agreement on the ones for which further work has been implemented within the PPI4Waste project. The five identified common needs are the following: bio-waste management, plastic separation, bulky waste management, separate collection for specific waste streams, and decision support systems for waste management.

Access the report on the ACR+ website.


This report gives an overall picture of the state of waste management in the European Union analysing how common needs identified during PPI4Waste project are currently addressed in the EU context and focusing on the identification of innovation solutions with high potential for PPI in the waste sector. It focused specifically on three waste fractions: bio-waste, plastic waste and bulky waste.

Access the full report on the ACR+ website.

This report presents the results of the research made regarding the PPI potential for each of the common needs and gives several recommendations regarding three aspects of PPI: 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.


Access the full report on the ACR+ website.

2.    Step 2: Market Engagement

The fragmentation of demand for innovative solutions and the lack of knowledge regarding the market situation are two well documented barriers to PPI. Thus, the project consortium brought together both the demand and supply sides to gain a better understanding of ready-to-market innovative solutions replying to needs identified at transnational level.

Market engagement forms a crucial part of the PPI4waste project, building on the needs assessment and feeding into a PPI roadmap which paves the way for potential future tenders for innovative waste solutions. In order to ensure that suppliers were aware of the needs identified by procurers and waste experts within the project, a series of four national market engagement workshops (in Spain, The Netherlands, Croatia and Belgium) as well as an international workshop were implemented during spring 2016. These workshops were intended to facilitate a dialogue between suppliers, procurers, entrepreneurs, consultants and waste experts in order to provide an overview of the current solutions available and in development, as well as giving suppliers and entrepreneurs an insight into what products and solutions they might need to develop in future.

This report defines, describes and provides examples of performance characteristics from a PPI approach and potential actions to be taken by the pilot partners Zagreb City Holding and Mancomunidad Del Sur to face challenges linked with their needs (bio-waste and plastic waste respectively). The identified actions are related to market uptake of innovative solutions, and performance characteristics are used to describe performance-based requirements (functional requirements) of these solutions.

Access the full report on the “Desired Performance Characteristics” on the ACR+ website.

This report identifies potential actions and future interventions to be uptaken by the pilot partners, Zagreb City Holding and Mancomunidad Del Sur, in order to face their challenges regarding bio-waste and plastic waste respectively, according to their specific conditions, through market uptake of innovative solutions.

Access the full report on the ACR+ website.

3.    Step 3: Feasibility Assessment

After delivering the report of targeted improvements from the demand side, having analysed the market situation, as well as drafting the roadmap for improvement on functional requirements, the next step in the methodology of preparation activities for the procurement implementation was to carry out a feasibility plan to uptake a collaborative PPI and to reduce risks associated with the implementation of PPI. It includes key aspects such as financial modelling, legal framework analysis, and risk reduction strategy.

This guide-template of contract model identifies and explains essential clauses that have to be part of the final tenders of Mancomunidad del Sur (Spain) and Zagreb City Holding (Croatia) if they want to buy innovative solutions that are ready to be marketed. Like the rest of the deliverables focused on the project’s pilot partners, this can be used as guidance for other public authorities.

This report provides an overall vision of risk management in public procurement of innovation, a brief description of the main types of risks that can be faced in these procedures and, finally, a strategy to address these risks in the PPI4Waste project.

Access the report on the  ACR+ website.

As part of the PPI4Waste project, a series of national training workshops are organised to help building capacity in public procurement of innovation and show how this can be applied within the municipal waste sector.

To support the implementation of similar training activities in other territories and raise awareness about the possibilities that the Public Procurement of Innovation offers and the relevant tools and mind-set that are necessary to succeed when approaching PPI in the waste sector, training material has been made available in the form of ready-to-use Power Point presentations.

The programme of the training includes the following sessions:

  1. Brief Introduction to the PPI4waste project;
  2. The need to innovate in municipal waste management;
  3. An introduction to Public Procurement of Innovation;
  4. Key Features for successful innovation procurement;
  5. Innovative approaches to procurement in waste management;
  6. Useful resources and approaches to PPI in waste management.


4.    Step 4: Lessons Learned

The last step provides an overview of the main lessons learned during the project and in order to help to set standards for the implementation of PPI in the waste sector.

This report aims to collect the lessons learned during the project, both regarding the needs and barriers of public procurers operating in the waste sector and the possible solutions and opportunities that can be found. A key output is policy recommendations for applying public procurement of innovation in the waste sector.
Access the report on the ACR+ website.

The purpose of the roadmap is to explore the options procurers have for coordinated procurement as well as joint procurement and, where relevant, map the subsequent steps to be performed for this purpose. Basically there are 3 models of implementation: use an existing centralised body external to the procurers; let one of the contracting authorities handle the procurement for all partners; set up a dedicated legal entity in which the contracting authorities participate.