Waste Management Award PHÖNIX (PHOENIX) 

Osterreichischer Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaftsverband (ÖWAV)                www.oewav.at                       


Address: Marc-Aurel-Straße 5
A-1010 Wien                                       
Email: buero(a)oewav.at                  
Phone: +43-1-535 57 20                  Fax: +43-1-535 40 64

References: more information you can find here, here.



WHERE: Austria
WHEN: 1999- 2018
WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY: Prevention: Replacement – Reduction, Preparing for reuse, Recycling: Reuse – Reprocessing
TYPE OF INSTRUMENT: Education, information, awareness raising & Voluntary/promotional
WASTE STREAMS: Municipal waste, Packaging waste, Waste electrical and electronic equipment, Construction and demolition waste, Hazardous waste, Plastics, Other metals, Food and organic waste

About: The Phoenix Prize has been awarded since 1999 (initially on an annual, since 2008 on a biennial basis) to practicable and/or innovative and creative solutions and concepts relevant to waste management. Usually the first 3 places are awarded and there are two other special prizes for titled „Waste Prevention” and „Think future – young ideas for waste management”(for startups and participants below 35) were awarded.

As an example (for year 2018), first place have been awarded to Knauf AMF Deckensysteme Gmb, that created a system on calcining for zero waste, second place awarded to Graz Technical University that proposed a plant for recuperation of non-iron metals from the combustion residues accruing during thermal waste treatment, while the third prize have been awarded to NÖ Umweltverbände in St. Pölten, for a smartphone application on education on food waste minimization.

Photo Source: OEWAV


This practice aim on encouraging the development of innovative actions in the field of waste management, to reward actions that have a high potential for improving environmental conditions and to make these usable actions known among private companies, authorities and the general public. 

Photo Source: OEWAV


1. Knowhow: the groups applying for the prize are experts in the fields of Eco efficiency, energy efficiency and climate friendly technologies.
2. Funding; budget: for 5 projects the total sum of money awarded is 11 000 €, further budget necessary for staff.
3. Material resources: venue for award ceremony
4.Human resources: jury for selection, staff dedicated to organizational issues, PR, award ceremony
5. Period of implementation: since 1999


Since 1999 until now, there have been encouraged and supported many initiatives with a positive effect on the environment and the health of the population.  

Photo Source: OEWAV

Urban metabolism relevance

The results of the practice make reference to outcomes going beyond waste prevention and management, such as: improving air quality within the city (by reducing the organic waste disposal in landfills, encouraging product sharing solutions etc.), and reducing the use of natural resources (by encouraging bulk acquisitions, repair initiatives etc.).

All implemented actions have an integrative approach being oriented towards all the basic characteristics of the urban metabolism.

The practice is contributing to circular economy approaches by enhancing the circularity of materials (via upcycling, remanufacture, resale, repair actions), by aiming to „close the loop” and/or by showing the valorization approaches for waste valorization.



The practice follows an innovative approach in terms of awarding criteria that is more flexible and can be adjusted easily to „special local conditions”. Innovative criteria is always selected to further stimulate eco-efficient and energy efficient, socially attractive projects and business cases.  

Engaged participatory processes

The award was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT) and the NGO Austrian Water and Waste Management Association (ÖWAV).

Considering all the beneficiaries of this practice (innovative businesses in industry, trade and waste management, startups, associations, corporations, municipalities, campaign and event organizers, university institutes, students, school projects and private citizens), the practice has a high participatory rate.



Photo Source: OEWAV

Sustainability and replicability

The awards that come as a result of the implementation of this practice, confirm the project’s/company’s success in the area of innovations for sustainable production and consumption and can be used for PR. They enhance visibility of the project/company and might trigger further activities in this area.

The idea is simple, might be compared to other similar initiatives already existing on regional or national level and be implemented in the target area with comparatively little effort.


Success Factors

The Practice has an increasing value, along with the number of projects it supports and encourages. The success factors might be considered the quality and efficiency of the environmental projects that run for awards annually.


Waste, Resources, Innovation.

Key Challenges

While the key aspects of environmental sustainability dominate, some awarded projects also have a significant social sustainability aspect.


For more information, please check the deliverable, or contact the implementing body.

Click on the green icon on the left side of the page to print and download this Best Practice as PDF.

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