Toronto to stop paying private waste haulers to collect garbage

Public works officials will be asked to create a new report to explain why public garbage is still rotting in one of Toronto’s smallest city wards A report on the status of urban garbage…

Toronto to stop paying private waste haulers to collect garbage

Public works officials will be asked to create a new report to explain why public garbage is still rotting in one of Toronto’s smallest city wards

A report on the status of urban garbage in the City of Toronto will suggest that the city should stop hiring private operators to collect trash, according to the Globe and Mail, after the program has already saved taxpayers millions.

The plan, referred to by the Globe as a “review”, will include a look at the waste rates paid by each home in Toronto. The newspaper cites an unnamed “sources” who say the report will call for a withdrawal of contracts the city signed with private waste haulers earlier this year.

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To date, the city has spent more than $1.3bn on private operators but save $87m overall, according to city figures cited by the Globe. Public works officials will be asked to create a new report to explain why trash has not gotten better, said the report, the newspaper reports.

There are nearly 1,400 private waste haulers in Toronto but only about 15 have contracts to collect publicly collected garbage, according to city data. While some of those firms are owned by city employees, the city has only ever deployed the contractors during emergencies. According to the Globe, a survey by the Toronto police found about two-thirds of people believed private garbage collection improved the smell.

City officials had hoped to reduce the number of private firms that take garbage by offering grants for residents to install wastewater-capture systems, but private firms quickly displaced them.

The Toronto council’s budget and strategic priorities committee told the Globe that spending on private garbage collection fell 14% in 2018, and the chief financial officer gave an update on the state of the program on Monday. According to the report, a similar drop of 20% could be seen in 2020.

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“I’m concerned about what has happened with privatized garbage collection,” Councillor Mike Layton told the Globe, referring to people who live in “ragged-ass subdivisions” being left with garbage for weeks while they wait for trash trucks to come. “Nobody should be waiting days, weeks and months, literally to get the garbage taken away. It’s just outrageous.”

He said the committee will discuss ways to reduce costs after its meeting this afternoon. The city has not yet commented on the report.

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