New Study Shows Contracting Out Residential Waste Collection Would Save Cash-Strapped Toronto $10 Million Annually and Keep Community Centres Open

    TORONTO, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - Results of a new study released today show that
the City of Toronto could be saving at least $10 million a year by contracting
out residential waste and recycling collection.
    Undertaken by the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) and a
working group of private-sector experts, the study shows that Toronto is out
of step with most other municipalities in Ontario when it comes to waste and
recycling collection service.
    Across the province, 85 per cent of municipalities recognize the value
and cost effectiveness of private-sector collection service delivery, while
Toronto remains committed to waste and recycling collection being carried out
by city employees at a substantially higher cost. As other municipalities are
moving from public to private sector servicing, Toronto is in-sourcing
collection services.
    In the six municipalities surrounding Toronto - Mississauga, Brampton,
Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham and Pickering - residential waste and
recycling collection is 100-per-cent contracted to the privates sector, while
in Toronto 80 per cent of these services are handled by city workers.
    The six surrounding municipalities pay on average $23.73 less per tonne
for waste and recycling collection than Toronto. Private-sector waste
companies are delivering the same service for approximately 20 per cent less
than the cost of the public sector.
    "The city is holding hostage the most vulnerable citizens with threatened
service cuts in a political game designed to push through new taxes," says Rob
Cook, President of the OWMA. "Mayor Miller has tunnel vision. He sees only two
choices - slashing programs or creating new tax revenue streams. Surely there
is an obligation on the Mayor and Council to find cost savings before asking
taxpayers for more money or cutting important services. Contracting waste
collection services is a perfect example of the significant savings that can
be found"
    By contracting out, Toronto could save taxpayers $50 million over the
life of a standard five-year contract for waste and recycling collection
services, without any reduction in service. The City would recognize further
benefits including significant revenues from the sale of the city's waste
collection equipment and truck fleet, predictable costs over the life of waste
services contracts, and fewer labour disruptions.
    "Private sector workers are more productive than city employees because
they work harder," said Cook. He pointed to statistics in the study showing
that the average productivity of a private sector waste collection worker is
more than double that of a City of Toronto worker - 0.96 tonnes/worker/hour
compared to 0.40 tonnes/worker/hour in the public sector.
    "We're identifying a $10-million annual savings for Toronto - more than
enough to keep community centres, libraries and outdoor hockey rinks open,"
said Cook. "City Councillors literally cannot afford to pass up this
opportunity to reverse the slashing of important services to Toronto citizens
and reducing the need for new taxes."

    About The Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA)
    The Ontario Waste Management Association, founded in 1977, speaks for
nearly 300 independent companies in the private sector who provide the
products and services for a better environment. Our business is to protect the
environment through the proper management of waste and recyclable materials.

For further information:

For further information: Rob Cook, President, OWMA, (905) 791-9500,; Rachel Sa, PR POST, (416) 777-0368,

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