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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Waste market - actions of the President of UOKiK

< previous | next > 12.08.2022

Waste market - actions of the President of UOKiK
  • The President of UOKiK monitors the municipal waste market on an ongoing basis.
  • The last investigation into this market concerned the verification of whether a tender collusion could have occurred in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, including Warsaw.
  • The results of the analysis show that the increases were not the result of illegal practices, but, among other things, an increase in the costs of conducting business activity by entrepreneurs and activities of local authorities.

The President of UOKiK regularly monitors the situation on the municipal waste market in terms of the possibility of occurrence of competition-restricting practices. In 2019-2020, two reports were created as part of the market survey. The first one concerned the situation in all gminas in Poland and analysed the reasons for the increase in the waste collection fees. The second report showcased waste treatment facilities market survey.

Preliminary Proceedings – Increases in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship

The President of UOKiK conducted preliminary proceedings aimed at determining whether illegal agreements could have been reached in recent years during tenders for the collection or management of municipal waste. The audit concerned mainly entrepreneurs operating in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, including Warsaw, where price increases were particularly high. The President of the Office analysed in particular the increase in rates for municipal waste management, the reasons for regular submission of offers for the operation of the same sectors by the same entrepreneurs and the legitimacy of merging companies into consortia.

- Our analysis has shown that increasing charges for collection of waste were caused by higher operational costs borne by entrepreneurs. This was also influenced by the local authorities, for example by the requirements set out in the tenders by municipal companies. We have not found any agreement limiting competition between entrepreneurs - said Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.

The investigation showed that many cases where only one entrepreneur would take part in the tenders were justified by the range of their activities in the waste collection and transport sector, which according to law may be 60 km from the vehicle base. The audited entrepreneurs indicated that due to the increasing costs, it is profitable to transport on distances of 40-50 kilometres and therefore they did not normally submit tenders for areas further away from their bases. The limitation for the decision to take part in the tender was also the requirements on the part of the contracting authority concerning, inter alia, waste treatment installations. An example is the operation of MPO in Warsaw. Before 2021 in particular, the company arranged tenders in such a way that they could not have more than a few entities from the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, which had municipal waste handling installations at a maximum distance of 70 km from Warsaw. This, among other things, translated into the level of prices offered. Entrepreneurs also indicated that they were often discouraged from submitting a tender due to high contractual penalties.

The reason for the increase in prices in Mazovia was also a significant shortage of capacity of waste treatment installations. It was largely due to the lack of sufficient activities on part of the voivodeship local government responsible for issuing decisions and permits necessary for the construction and operation of municipal waste handling installations. According to environmental regulations, it is the Voivodeship Marshal that is the competent authority for issuing an integrated permit for this type of installation.

Positive Impact of Changes in Law

Currently, the waste management sector in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship has a chance to stabilise due to the abolition of regionalisation at the end of 2019. Since then, waste can be transported to another voivodeship, and consortia of local waste collection companies with installations in other regions can act as a driver of competition. However, it is necessary for gminas to allow such offers to be submitted. In the aforementioned second waste management report, the President of UOKiK pointed to different levels of utilisation of processing capacity in individual regions – where they were lower, installations were interested in using them and offered better financial conditions. Competition between installations therefore makes it possible to propose better pricing conditions to the benefit of consumers.



Impact of Municipal Waste Management Costs on Inflation

The President of UOKiK also examined whether the increase in waste management fees had an impact on inflation. In May 2022, it stood at 13.9%, while without the increase in the price of “waste collection” it would be 13.8%. However, the increase in the waste management fee was important for inflation in 2020, without which it would be 2.9% instead of 3.4%.

Antimonopoly Proceedings - Wielkopolskie Voivodeship

The President of UOKiK conducts antimonopoly proceedings in connection with suspected conclusion of an agreement limiting competition in public procurement procedures announced in 2017 by the “Waste Management of the Poznań Agglomeration” Intergmina Association (Związek Międzygminny „Gospodarka Odpadami Aglomeracji Poznańskiej”) for, among other things, collection and transport of mixed municipal waste, consisting in the agreement on the terms and conditions of submitted offers by the contractors, which may constitute a violation of antimonopoly law. The allegations were made against seven entrepreneurs, including Remondis Sanitech Poznań and PreZero Dolny Śląsk (formerly: SUEZ Zachód).

We would also like to remind you that UOKiK runs a programme of acquiring information from anonymous whistleblowers. Visit and fill out a simple form. The system we use guarantees full anonymity, which includes anonymity from UOKiK itself.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files


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