Talks on how to curb Toronto city council’s rubbish woes

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption This is Waste Expo, a private trash collection service

A report of Toronto city council suggests private trash haulers save taxpayers money, but some private companies have cut service during peak season.

The report details a pilot project in five boroughs this year in which private firms offered better-quality service and offered to pay the fines for overflowing bins.

To critics, however, the results prove that the province needs to create a subsidy to cut trash rates.

Here’s a summary of the report.

What does it say?

The city report notes some short-term savings from the private haulers.

A quick summary

Workers at Trash Expo, which cleaned residential bins for one neighbourhood in east Toronto, reduced hours on 10 August compared to July.

Touker finds “an ongoing disconnect” between some private haulers and council, says the report.

The initiative ran as a pilot project in five boroughs this year to test if the private firm would continue to pick up bulky waste on Tuesdays.

The same contractor decided not to pick up in July and August.

Demographic data suggests fewer people used these services, according to the report.

However, the report notes that Private Recycles, a contractor for the region of Downsview, took two garbage sites from high density to low.

Touker says the results disprove the notion that private trash collection firms are a burden to neighbourhoods.

Trouble spot?

Cooper Beach was given two garbage sites in order to collect bulky waste.

After just a year, there was a 24% drop in the amount of debris collected at the five sites, the report says.

The contractor changed its pick-up dates when the city offered a fare subsidy and the two garbage sites became almost non-existent.

What does the report recommend?

The report says the government of Ontario should create a subsidy for garbage and green waste pickup.

“Should a provincial subsidy be created, it is likely that other jurisdictions would follow suit,” says the report.

Other recommendations include working on garbage collection more “efficiently”, comparing case studies, and adding a similar service to the two private trash contractors on Tuesday.

As to how that will actually work, the report says it will take time to define details, consult with municipal officials and residents, and “establish collective bargaining agreements”.

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