Privatized trash pick-up hits a snag in Etobicoke

A private contractor has been picking up Etobicoke's trash for 6 years but that deal may not be extended

Green for Life has been collecting trash in Etobicoke long before it won a contract to service communities west of Yonge Street. (file photo)
Photo: CTV News

The merits of privatized garbage collection in the old city of Etobicoke is up for discussion at Toronto City Council.

There's a problem with Green for Life, the city's private-sector hauler, in the west end.   

It's been operating in Etobicoke for 6 years and that contract ends in June of next year.

The deal may not be extended.  

The city has the sole option to renew the deal with the same price tag for 2 years beyond that but city staff recommends against that.

Councillor Mike Layton brought this up after hearing about complaints from residents that their garbage wasn't being picked up on time and on ocassion, not at all.

"Garbage not getting picked up is one thing but at the heart of these complaints are trucks that aren't getting serviced as they should," says Layton, who joined NewsTalk 1010's Friendly Fire on Monday night.

Green for Life may still be able to get a new contract for Etobicoke; one with enough money in it to be able to afford to buy the new trucks needed to automate green bin collection and vehicles that don't need to be serviced as often.

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  1. Jack posted on 05/06/2014 09:30 AM
    Of course city staff are advising against renewing the contract, they're just parroting their union's anti-privatization rhetoric. Privatization means better service, period; just step outside and look around if you want to see evidence of city staff slacking off because they have no need to compete for their jobs.
  2. Frankie posted on 05/06/2014 10:39 AM
    Now that his step-mother is vying for mayor Mike Layton can dust off his hammer and sickle pin. Garbage pickup has improved considerably since GFL has taken over in our area. Layton talks about delayed pickups; wonder if he's referring to Olivia's mom when Olivia complained to the media her mother's garbage wasn't picked up at precisely 9:00 am. If she wants that reliability move to Switzerland.
  3. john posted on 05/06/2014 11:04 AM
    yet more builshit info from the overpaid under worked whiners union .
  4. No more unions posted on 05/06/2014 11:58 AM
    CUPE = Corrupt Underworked Public Extortionists.
    1. local 69 posted on 05/06/2014 01:28 PM
      @No more unions we have a job for your mother in the male service dept. full time with good benefits.
    2. Jack posted on 05/06/2014 01:40 PM
      @local 69 A perfect example of thuggish union behaviour. Well done.
    3. john posted on 05/06/2014 02:07 PM
      @Jack every time i hear or see the word local i think about a Latino dude calling somebody crazy .
  5. tanjo posted on 05/06/2014 01:09 PM
    Not sure if this is the case, but I know with professional services (lawyers, accountants etc), they give you a good price to get in the door, but the fees increase steadily from year to year once you come to rely on them.

    Trucks not getting serviced could be indicative that GFL is cutting corners in order to make ends meet. That is a potential sign of trouble.

    And this doesn't mean you have to go back to a union. This just means we open up the bidding again, and go with the best option, which could include GFL, Wasteco, or even internal, if that is the best option. As long as the workers are hired on, say a 5-year contract, we will again be free to make the best deal the next time around.

    Asking questions always make sense.
    1. arthur posted on 05/06/2014 01:36 PM
      @tanjo shouldn't come as a surprise. low ball to get the contract. then when you have the contract cut corners. put crap trucks on the road. put people at risk on the roads. typical conservative capitalist greed. that's why you have to have proper oversight and strict rules and regs.
      lets contract out airplane maint. to Air Canada to save money. maybe to some offshore company in Bangladesh. save all kinds.
    2. Jack posted on 05/06/2014 01:43 PM
      @arthur Let me think, who would I prefer to have responsible for the maintenance of an airplane carrying 100 people across the Atlantic ocean:

      1) A non-unionized technician, who knows that his continued employment depends on him providing quality work and that he'll face consequences if things go wrong, OR

      2) A CUPE lifer, working at half efficiency to maximize his overtime, his job secure regardless of what he does or doesn't do, with a wall of red tape a kilometre thick and two high to hide behind if his shoddy worksmanship were to kill someone?

      That certainly is a head-scratcher, friend.
    3. Frankie posted on 05/06/2014 02:21 PM
      @tanjo Very well put. Nothing is ever perfect however and we can be certain pro-union forces will pick at every opportunity to criticize GFL. If public service unions were under the same scrutiny the private sector is under we'd have gotten rid of some of those unions. I know someone at TTC maintenance dept. threatened after 1st day on job because he worked efficiently, making everyone else look bad. Don't hear anything about that union being replaced or disciplined, do you? Clean that up and suddenly you have more money for subways.
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