VIDEO: Private Garbage Pick-up Starts West of Yonge
There's a fleet of big, green machines getting ready to gobble up all the garbage west of Yonge Street.
Private trash collection started Tuesday morning for residents west of Yonge Street.
The new, bright-green trucks will be driven by new workers who don't carry union cards, they're employed by a company called Green for Life.
GFL is a City Council-approved contractor, that began collecting garbage from 165,000 Toronto homes west of Yonge Street to the Humber River. While new green trucks may be seen on the streets, materials collected, containers, set-out practices and collection frequency remain the same for area residents.
With GFL in place, the City expects to save approximately $11.9 million in the first year of the contract (August 2012 to July 2013) and about $11.1 million annually after July 2013.
"This is a great day for the City of Toronto," said Mayor Rob Ford. "Acting on my campaign promise to contract out appropriate services and to save the City money, I am pleased to welcome GFL as the waste collection provider in this area of the city."
Collection schedules - which determine what and when materials should be put out each week - will not change. Residents are, however, asked to put their waste out by 7 a.m. on their scheduled day, as their actual time of collection may vary somewhat with the new company.
"Today is day one in fulfilling our promise to taxpayers. GFL will provide collection service at a reduced cost without sacrificing the quality of the service or the City's commitment to diverting waste from landfill," said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34 Don Valley East), Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.
The city is advising residents that since this is a new contract, to expect delays with their collection. They are being asked to leave material at the curb if it has not been picked up by late afternoon. Residents can continue to call 311 if they have any service issues to report.
The contract with GFL is for seven years (2012-2019), with an option to extend the contract for two additional one-year periods at the City's discretion. GFL also provides collection west of the Humber River in Etobicoke, having recently acquired Turtle Island, the previous contractor.
CUPE employees had been doing the work but the switch to a private contractor is move that mayor Rob Ford pushed hard for.