Privatized garbage collection could be expanded to Scarborough
Chris Fox, CTV Toronto
Published Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:02AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 11, 2017 4:54PM EST
City staff are recommending that privatized garbage collection be expanded to Scarborough.
In a report that will be considered by the public works and infrastructure committee next week, staff propose privatizing garbage collection in District 4, which includes all of Scarborough, while leaving garbage collection in District 3 to unionized city workers for now.
Garbage collection was already privatized west of Yonge Street in districts one and two in 2012. The move saved the city $11 million in 2013.
“The city is presently saving millions of dollars each year by contracting out garbage collection in the west end and I want to save money in the east end as well,” Mayor John Tory told reporters on Wednesday. “It is about finding ways to deliver the best service at the lowest possible cost.”
City union would be able to bid
The staff report proposes holding a managed competition procurement process for District 4, which would allow both private companies and the city’s unionized workers to submit bids.
The cost of the procurement process is pegged at $500,000.
“We are not structured to bid on work,” CUPE Local 416 Vice President Matt Figliano said Wednesday. “We are public servants; we are paid by the taxpayers. Why would we have to bid on something that belongs to us already?”
Figliano said that privatized garbage collection could mean the loss of 200 to 250 unionized jobs in Toronto. Those job losses would come after the elimination of 150 positions when garbage collection was first privatized in the west end in 2012, Figliano said.
Tory, however, said earlier on Wednesday that the move to privatized garbage collection is simply about “value for money” and not eliminating unionized work.
“This is not in any way at all about ideology. It is about value for money, it is about using the marketplace to test ways that we can give people better services for less money. I think that is my responsibility as mayor,” he said.
The staff report states that the results of the procurement process in District 4 will be used as a “guide for future service delivery recommendations” in District 3.
Speaking with reporters in Etobicoke, Tory noted that privatized garbage collection is already in place in York and Peel regions and suggested that opposing a competitive bid process makes little sense.
“I don’t know for the life of me how councillor could possibly say no to finding ways to save money. I am sure some people will find a way to be opposed to that but I don’t know how you possibly could be,” he said.