Garbage privatization happening six months early, savings (maybe) larger than expected

Garbage privatization happening six months early, savings (maybe) larger than expected

The principle reason anyone supports privatization of garbage collection (Image: emmlalala from the Flickr pool)

It was a bit of a surprise yesterday when Denzil Minnan-Wong announced that the City of Toronto would be moving forward with garbage privatization sooner than planned. The latest step in the process is pushing out a request for quotations from potential bidders for the contract to pick up trash from Yonge to Etobicoke—and the city is getting to it six months earlier than expected.

From the Toronto Sun:

“An anticipated six-month delay in commencement of the contract, which would have pushed the start date to February 2013, has been avoided and an extra $3 million in potential savings will be realized,” Minnan-Wong stated.

The proposal was opposed by unionized workers and some councillors, with a campaign-seeking taxpayer support that claimed collections would be sub-standard, pricier and cost city worker’s jobs. Private collection is currently done only in Etobicoke.

Wherever people stand on the merits of privatization, we’re tempted to call this good news, if only because once council decides to approve garbage privatization, it’s best that it be done with the greatest potential for savings. Critics, of course, are skeptical that any savings are really possible, and maybe they’ll be proven right. But it’s not like taking longer in the process was going to settle the argument one way or another. Incidentally, having privatized garbage trucks rolling through the city by summer 2012 will mean voters will have two years of experience with the new service when they vote again in 2014. Will this—yet again—turn into a huge election issue? Stay tuned!

Speed up in trash privatization can save $3M: City [Toronto Sun]
Toronto seeks bids on private trash collection earlier than expected [Globe and Mail]
Private garbage pickup coming sooner than expected [Toronto Star]