Independent online marketplace for waste is digitalizing the circular economy

Lubey GmbH from Halle (Saale) has developed a digital platform that brings together waste vendors and recycling companies. Its online auction ensures that contracts are awarded in compliance with the legislation. As a result, waste fractions can be recycled much more efficiently. This digital solution reduces the environmental impact of waste and brings benefits for all the parties involved in the form of increased revenue.


In 2018, Lubey GmbH from Halle (Saale) set itself the goal of revolutionizing the entire circular economy for waste and secondary raw materials. “Revolutionizing the market is a tough challenge,” says Lubey's managing director Ulrich Peinhardt. “The disposal of waste and secondary raw materials often involves complex offline marketing processes that include a lot of administrative work. Digitalizing these activities represents a move in the right direction.” The software developer from Saxony-Anhalt has turned his vision of an independent and transparent online marketplace for waste into reality. “We are an independent service provider without any external influences or links to waste disposal companies.”


Standardized process unravels the tangle of legislation

On the Lubey Trade portal, public sector organizations in particular offer waste flows such as paper and waste wood, but also steel and textiles. “We have developed a standardized process for awarding waste contracts. The descriptions of the services are brief and clear. It’s simply a question of ticking boxes. Creating the tender online takes only a few minutes. In conventional processes, the body awarding the contract often has to use an engineering consultancy and this can take up to six months,” explains Peinhardt. At the heart of Lubey’s digitalized tender system is the sealed bid auction that follows the submission of the first bid. The waste disposal companies taking part can always see where they stand and, if necessary, can improve their position by submitting a new bid. Every federal German state has its own tendering legislation, and the system draws up a legally valid contract automatically. At the end of the process, the waste disposal organization can be sure not only of having legally binding, transparent contracts, but also of the exact conditions for collecting and delivering the waste.


Transparency and an equal footing in Saxony-Anhalt and throughout Germany

“The digital tendering process means that the contracting bodies have much less work to do. In addition, the larger number of bidders in the auction ensures them a realistic market price. Managing the process via the portal gives them access to a wider range of bids and greater transparency. This is also true for the waste disposal companies. They can take part in tenders all over Germany on an equal footing and also restrict themselves to individual regions. Depending on their specialist field, the companies are informed about all the appropriate tenders,” explains Peinhardt.

“Our initial skepticism about whether the totally digital approach and the online auction would work in practice disappeared as soon as our tender was published. We saved a huge amount of time during the preparation and issuing of the tender and, of course, also saw a positive result,” says Jens Adam, managing director of KELL GmbH. The municipal waste disposal business in the Leipziger Land district of Saxony used Lubey Trade to digitalize the complex processes involved in a tender for waste wood disposal. The simple and intuitive concept developed by Lubey and the marketing support provided by the company's employees meant that more than twice as many bidders took part as in the previous tender process. During the online auction, eleven bidders submitted more than 60 bids.

Lubey has been expanding its digital offering on an ongoing basis over the years. Companies can now manage their entire waste disposal process online using the Lubey Connect solution. As Peinhardt explains, for many companies the problems really start once they have marketed their waste: “They have to organize, monitor and bill the waste disposal activities, which involve several service providers. In the case of larger companies with several sites this involves a huge amount of work.” The software automates all the documentation and billing processes and allows the collection of waste to be triggered. ESG and sustainability reports can be produced simply by clicking on a button.


Carbon footprint and efficiency are included in the assessment of bids

Lubey has digitalized the waste management process and also made it leaner, more cost-effective and more sustainable: “The bidder who offers the best price for disposing of the waste is the one who recycles the materials most efficiently. Any firm that simply takes the waste to the disposal site will make a higher charge. This means that our mechanisms make sure that the waste is recycled as part of the circular economy.” Sustainability also involves the carbon footprint, which Lubey can identify throughout the entire disposal process, depending on the customer’s requirements. “We calculate the route taken by trucks to the waste disposal facility and take their CO2 emissions into account, along with the efficiency of the facility, during the assessment of the bid,” says Peinhardt.


Author: Michael Falgowski