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Managing and Transforming Waste Streams – A Tool for Communities

Procurement Best Practices: Minimum Zero Waste Standards & Best and Final Offer Process

Criteria can be established in the contract so only proposals meeting the local government's minimum zero waste service standards on a pass/fail basis can be considered, for example:
  • Minimum years of experience for services requested,
  • Experience achieving specified levels of diversion from disposal, and/or
  • Green certification(s).

Some communities also add an additional step by asking qualified bidders to submit a Best and Final Offer (BAFO). In this type of procurement, local government staff can revise scope of work and Request for Proposals (RFP) to incorporate the best ideas proposed in the first round.

Examples of zero waste service standards include prior experience:
  • Providing recycling services universally to all multi-family dwellings, institutions, commercial businesses and industry;
  • Providing full range of organics collection and processing (including yard trimmings, food scraps and food soiled paper) to all residents, businesses and institutions;
  • Providing reuse and recycling of bulky items collected;
  • Providing services for household hazardous waste and specified difficult to recycle item;
  • Providing zero waste education and outreach to residents and businesses;
  • Offering take back services to manufacturers and retailers for their products and packaging not paid for through rate base, but as independent services;
  • Developing neighborhood or community-wide resource recovery centers and to make it easier to reuse, recycle and compost products;
  • Providing independent audit services to businesses to help them focus on reducing wasting and recycling more; and
  • Providing incentives in rates to all residential and commercial customers to reduce waste and reuse, recycle and compost more.


  • Qualified bidders: Ensures that all of the qualified bidders meet the minimum zero waste standards prescribed.
  • Improved contract requirements: The well-established Best and Final Offer procurement practice generally allows qualified proposers to respond to a more detailed and more realistic scope.


  • Limits qualified bidder pool: Some proposers with limited experience implementing zero waste programs could be excluded from consideration.
  • Local government staff workload: Local governments comfortable with traditional bidding practices may not want to undertake the BAFO scope revision and process.

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