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The hurdles of local governments with PPP contracts in the waste sector


  • Nuno Ferreira da Cruz
  • Pedro Simões
  • Rui Cunha Marques


With this paper we identify a number of the theoretical principles that apply to public–private partnership (PPP) contracts, introducing new case studies and policy discussions relevant for Europe and elsewhere. We discuss to what extent these contracts can and should be applied in the waste sector and perform a comparison between the purely contractual and the institutionalised models of PPP arrangements. We analyse four case studies in the ‘wholesale’ waste market in Portugal and examine the implementation and degree of success of these partnerships in the field. It seems that public authorities are failing to secure an adequate level of protection of the public interest. Drawing on the empirical evidence, we present some guidelines that could lead to better regulatory contracts for waste services. Keywords: concessions, mixed companies, public–private partnerships, regulation by contract, waste management

Suggested Citation

  • Nuno Ferreira da Cruz & Pedro Simões & Rui Cunha Marques, 2013. "The hurdles of local governments with PPP contracts in the waste sector," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 31(2), pages 292-307, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirc:v:31:y:2013:i:2:p:292-307

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pérez-López, Gemma & Prior, Diego & Zafra-Gómez, José Luis & Plata-Díaz, Ana María, 2016. "Cost efficiency in municipal solid waste service delivery. Alternative management forms in relation to local population size," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 255(2), pages 583-592.
    2. Daniel, Albalate & Germà, Bel & Albert, Gragera, 2019. "Politics, risk, and white elephants in infrastructure PPPs," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 158-165.
    3. van Winden, Willem & Carvalho, Luís, 2019. "Intermediation in public procurement of innovation: How Amsterdam’s startup-in-residence programme connects startups to urban challenges," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(9), pages 1-1.
    4. Sara Hughes & Jacqueline Peterson, 2018. "Transforming Municipal Services to Transform Cities: Understanding the Role and Influence of the Private Sector," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(1), pages 1-9, January.
    5. Antonella Lomoro & Giorgio Mossa & Roberta Pellegrino & Luigi Ranieri, 2020. "Optimizing Risk Allocation in Public-Private Partnership Projects by Project Finance Contracts. The Case of Put-or-Pay Contract for Stranded Posidonia Disposal in the Municipality of Bari," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-18, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General


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