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


  • da Cruz, Nuno F.
  • Simões, Pedro
  • Marques, Rui Cunha


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.

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  • da Cruz, Nuno F. & Simões, Pedro & Marques, Rui Cunha, 2013. "The hurdles of local governments with PPP contracts in the waste sector," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59765, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:59765

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. da Cruz, Nuno F. & Marques, Rui Cunha, 2012. "Mixed companies and local governance: no man can serve two masters," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59778, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    10. Alessandro MARRA, 2007. "Internal Regulation By Mixed Enterprises: The Case Of The Italian Water Sector," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(2), pages 245-275, June.
    11. Marques, Rui Cunha & Berg, Sanford V, 2010. "Revisiting the strengths and limitations of regulatory contracts in infrastructure industries," MPRA Paper 32890, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Germà Bel & Antonio Miralles, 2010. "Choosing between Service Fees and Budget Funding to Pay for Local Services: Empirical Evidence from Spain," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 28(1), pages 54-71, February.
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    15. Harriet Bulkeley & Matt Watson & Ray Hudson, 2007. "Modes of Governing Municipal Waste," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 39(11), pages 2733-2753, November.
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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. Martijn van den Hurk & Marlies Hueskes, 2017. "Beyond the financial logic: Realizing valuable outcomes in public–private partnerships in Flanders and Ontario," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 35(5), pages 784-808, August.
    3. Daniel, Albalate & Germà, Bel & Albert, Gragera, 2019. "Politics, risk, and white elephants in infrastructure PPPs," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 158-165.
    4. Tafuro, Alessandra & Dammacco, Giuseppe & Esposito, Paolo & Mastroleo, Giovanni, 2022. "Rethinking performance measurement models using a fuzzy logic system approach: a performative exploration on ownership in waste management," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    5. Martijn van den Hurk, 2016. "Bundling the procurement of sports infrastructure projects: How neither public nor private actors really benefit," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 34(8), pages 1369-1386, December.
    6. Marques, Rui Cunha & da Cruz, Nuno Ferreira & Simões, Pedro & Faria Ferreira, Sandra & Pereira, Marta Cabral & De Jaeger, Simon, 2014. "Economic viability of packaging waste recycling systems: A comparison between Belgium and Portugal," Resources, Conservation & Recycling, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 22-33.
    7. Vanesa Castán Broto & Domingos Augusto Macucule & Emily Boyd & Jonathan Ensor & Charlotte Allen, 2015. "Building Collaborative Partnerships for Climate Change Action in Maputo, Mozambique," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 47(3), pages 571-587, March.
    8. Giuseppe F Gori & Patrizia Lattarulo & Marco Mariani, 2017. "Understanding the procurement performance of local governments: A duration analysis of public works," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 35(5), pages 809-827, August.
    9. 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.
    10. Elvira Uyarra & Kieron Flanagan & Edurne Magro & Jon Mikel Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, 2017. "Anchoring the innovation impacts of public procurement to place: The role of conversations," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 35(5), pages 828-848, August.
    11. Sara Hughes & Jacqueline Peterson, 2018. "Transforming Municipal Services to Transform Cities: Understanding the Role and Influence of the Private Sector," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(1), pages 1-9, January.
    12. Henry J Liu & Peter ED Love & Jim Smith & Michael CP Sing & Jane Matthews, 2018. "Evaluation of public–private partnerships: A life-cycle Performance Prism for ensuring value for money," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 36(6), pages 1133-1153, September.
    13. Annalisa Caloffi & Francesca Gambarotto, 2017. "Cognitive distance in public procurement and public–private partnerships: An analysis of the construction sector," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 35(5), pages 765-783, August.
    14. 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, vol. 12(3), pages 1-18, January.
    15. Annalisa Caloffi & Stephen Pryke & Silvia R Sedita & Matti Siemiatycki, 2017. "Public–private partnerships and beyond: Potential for innovation and sustainable development," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 35(5), pages 739-745, August.

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    More about this item


    concessions; mixed companies; public–private partnerships; regulation by contract; waste management;
    All these keywords.

    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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