Private garbage a mixed bag

The Globe has an article on the benefits, and detriments, that privatized garbage may bring to Weston.

Those of us who are new to town may not know that garbage pickup was privately provided here for many years. It was only brought into the same collection service as the rest of the city in 2007. And, if Rob Ford gets his way, it may be privatized again: Ford would like to privatize garbage collection west of Yonge.

According to the article:

In 2006, the last full year that Turtle Island Recycling, Inc. provided the service in her ward, Ms. Nunziata’s office logged just seven complaints. In 2007, when CUPE Local 416 workers took over in August, the figure increased from nine in the first half of the year to 27 in the second half. Since then, the number of complaints has grown to 49 in 2008, 56 in 2009 and 57 in 2010.

“I use to receive calls from constituents about how courteous the [private collectors] were,” said Ms. Nunziata, who represents Ward 11 (York South-Weston). “Now I get complaints that they [city workers] are emptying the garbage and just throwing their garbage can in the middle of the street.”

While Nunziata’s office received many more complaints, the 311 service has logged fewer complaints than in Etobicoke, which has privatized service:

The Globe, meanwhile, found that from Oct. 7 to Nov. 7, 2010, the number of calls to 311 for “missed” residential garbage pickup in the daytime was 107 for York and 510 for Etobicoke. That’s 0.16 per cent of households in York compared with 0.41 per cent for privately serviced Etobicoke.

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

3 thoughts on “Private garbage a mixed bag”

  1. i wonder what effect the introduction of the bin system has on the stats. had the garbage bins not been introduced, would there be less complaints? more? then there’s not just the introduction of the bins to take into consideration, but also the garbage truck arm which puts the bin pretty much where it was. that was introduced a while on after the adoption of the bin. initially, the bin was manually positioned behind the truck by an employee and then the bin was returned to its spot. i can see both methods having faults. 1) an employee not returning the bin to its proper spot, 2) the arm from the truck knocking other bins over. etc.

    it’s not as simple as public vs. private because in the time period being observed, there was a change in technology & methods.

    do the private contractors in etobicoke use bins & those trucks with the grabbing arm?

  2. Of course we need to evaluate the service that’s being provided, but the other side of the issue is the kinds of jobs (as the article on Alan Tonks mentions) our service is providing to the community.

    Is the private company unionized? providing benefits and job security? The people who collect our garbage are people who live in our city and their jobs are what keep them able to be functioning members of society.

    Before using a missed collection or a misplaced garbage as a gauge I’d want to know what kind of jobs Turtle Island provides. After all, we’re ultimately the employers of the people who collect our garbage; responsible employers take their employees’ working conditions (already pretty dismal) into the accounting.

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