Private garbage collection failing in Toronto

The first week of private trash pick-up might foil Mayor Rob Ford's future plans for city-wide privatization.

(J.P. Moczulski for The Globe and Mail)

The first week on the job for Green For Life Environmental Corp., the winner of the $186.4-million private contract for garbage collection in Toronto, went, in a word: terribly.

"As of 4 p.m. Friday, 1,044 complaints about late or missed garbage pickups had rolled in to the city’s 311 line," wrote Kelly Grantmatthew Braga of The Globe and Mail.

The rocky start could jeopardize Mayor Rob Ford's push to outsource garbage throughout the city, warns one of the mayor's top lieutenants.

“If we can’t get customer service standards up to where we’d like them to be, it’s going to be more difficult to make the case for further privatization," said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, the mayor’s top consultant on garbage.

Late night pick ups have been met with both anger and sympathy.

“We expect them to come when they say they’re going to,” said Dorothy Henry, as she dragged her empty green bin in from the driveway.

Her trash was still sitting outside her home soaking up the rain.

When collectors drove up Humewood, north of St. Clair, sisters Heather and Mary MacDonald told them to go home and get some rest.

“We told them, no one wants these trucks out at 11 p.m."

Solid waste boss Jim Harnum has decided not to punish GFL, although the city contract includes a $150 fee for every time a truck misses the pick-up deadline.

“My take on this is we wouldn’t necessarily hire a new employee and start disciplining them if they couldn’t operate the truck properly,” he said.

If GFL is not up to speed in four weeks, Mr. Harnum will consider a tough love approach. Until then, privatization remains a hot, smelly topic on Toronto streets.

[via: The Globe and Mail]

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