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Service and safety risk being casualties of the City of Toronto’s recently concluded tender process for solid waste collection, says a representative of Local 416 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The union’s concerns result from yesterday’s surprisingly early recommendation by the city to award the private contract to collect waste from Etobicoke’s households to Miller Waste Systems.

“The tender closed last Thursday and the city made its recommendation less than a week later. This is for a contract that is worth nearly $90 million and that doesn’t start until July 2015,” said Dave Hewitt, Vice-President of CUPE Local 416.

CUPE sent information as part of the tender and never received acknowledgment. A councillor has made an administrative inquiry about the current contractor. And this decision doesn’t have to go to council for debate.”

“It all speaks to a serious lack of open and democratic process.”

CUPE has been tracking the performance of contractor Green For Life (GFL) and other private contractors of solid waste. As part of the tender process, the union submitted correspondence to Toronto’s Purchasing Services outlining a number of concerns about private collection of solid waste, including underreported service complaints and issues about health and safety and vehicle operation.

The union also asked the department why a return to publicly delivering the service was not considered.

“Among other issues, this raises serious questions about the city’s tender process and it does nothing to address the concerns that CUPE has identified to the city,” said Dave Hewitt.

For more information, please contact:

Mary Unan, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999, Ext. 378 or 416-206-5609 (Cell)