Evaluating the efficiency of public expenditure in municipal waste collection: A comparative study of Portuguese municipalities

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Effective waste management is fundamental to sustainable development and the well-being of societies. This study focuses on the financial efficiency of urban waste collection in Portuguese municipalities, with the aim to analyze the effects of the allocation of public resources in the waste management sector. The main objective is to analyze the relationship between public spending and waste collection over a five-year period. Through the application of the classic data envelopment analysis model (DEA), the study seeks to observe the existence of benchmarking patterns, identify possible inefficiencies, and determine opportunities for improvement in urban waste management and collection practices. The results suggest substantial variations in waste collection efficiency between municipalities and a positive correlation between public spending and the volume of waste collected. The results emphasize the need for a strategic allocation of financial resources in order to promote sustainable waste management practices. The paper highlights the importance of municipalities reassessing their strategies for allocating financial resources to ensure a better balance between funding and efficiency in the use of resources. The conclusions offer valuable practical implications for defining strategies and managing municipal waste collection services in Portugal and other countries with similar contexts.

Acknowledgment
This article is financed by Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal [Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal]. 

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    • Figure 1. The more (green) and less (red) efficient municipalities by districts and autonomous regions, 2018–2022
    • Table 1. Results by districts and autonomous regions (2018–2022)
    • Conceptualization
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