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Improving the Environmental Performance of Public Procurement

Different approaches have been adopted in OECD countries for reducing household waste, mainly waste disposal charges combined with recycling schemes. Waste collection charges are an effective approach to reducing the quantity of waste and increasing recycling. Rather than flat fees, these charges should vary with the amount of waste and be combined with a recycling programme or deposit-refund scheme (OECD, 2008). Programmes such as the Green Dot packaging ordinance in Germany combine waste disposal charges with extensive recycling incentives and facilities. Korea operates a volume-based waste fee system linked to purchasing waste bags and accompanied by recycling, which has resulted in a 14% reduction in municipal waste and a 50% increase in recycling in the last ten years. In some locales, France combines waste disposal charges with distribution to households of free compost bins. Decreasing water wastage may also call for more than one approach. Given widespread water scarcities, most countries now charge for water supplied to households and add additional levies for consumption over given thresholds as well as special restrictions. Denmark, Hungary and the Netherlands have successfully combined public information campaigns with increases in household water prices to decrease water wastage