With a 2015 staff report revealing that Toronto saved $11.9 million using private trash pickup west of Yonge Street, Mayor John Tory is looking to do the same in the east end.
On Tuesday morning the Mayor made a quick trip to Etobicoke with public works committee chair Jaye Robinson to show off how private collection has worked in the west end and saved taxpayer dollars.
Robinson produced a report to the mayor and council this month suggesting options on outsourcing garbage collection in the east.
Tory vowed to contract out the city’s garbage collection east of Yonge Street during his 2014 mayoral campaign.
“We must test the market to see if the service can be done for less,” said Tory. “The only way you can really know…how much money you will save…is to ask people to tell you how they would do it and how much they will charge you for doing it.”
CUPE Local 416, which represents the city’s garbage collectors, is not on board with the city’s recommendations, expressing concerns about potential job losses and belief that the public’s preference is to keep collection the way it is.
— The New Local416 (@Local416) January 10, 2017
Using a commissioned poll through their own “Kicked To The Curb” campaign, Local 416 says 66 per cent of decided voters east of Yonge Street are opposed to privatization, and 60p per cent of those living west of Yonge Street feel the same way.
In a statement on Wednesday, union president Eddie Mariconda said privatizing garbage in Scarborough would be “kicking hard-working men and women to the curb to achieve an ideological objective.”
Mariconda also insinuated the city’s staff report was not peer-reviewed and that it omits pertinent information.
“The city report showed waste collection in Scarborough, serviced by our members, has the lowest collection cost per stop.”
Tory says he would consider a bid from the the union should they want to participate, and even he was okay with a potential partnership between the public sector and a private company.
The city’s public works committee is set to consider the report’s recommendation next week.