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Kingstons plans to sell off its garbage collection to a private company have just become very public.

A group calling itself the Kingston Coalition Against Privatization has been formed to fight the privatization scheme, which is being rammed through council with virtually no public debate just weeks before a municipal election.

Bringing together CUPE 109, representing municipal workers, and community organizations, the coalition has launched a public information campaign

including flyers to every household in Kingston, radio and newspaper ads and public meetings.

Coalition co-chair Cheryl McArthur says, Theres something very smelly about this plan. Were going to be telling our elected officials they should not be giving our tax money away to private corporations.

David McDonald, a community representative, is concerned about the way that the privatization process has evolved. This scheme is based on a highly suspect promise of huge savings from a private company with no experience in residential garbage collection and with no explanation of how they expect to cut costs.

Experience in other Ontario cities shows that once they win the contract and the City sells all of its equipment they jack up their rates in subsequent contracts and start to cut corners, adds McDonald.

Says McArthur, while garbage may be the first thing our city council is trying to get rid of, the privatizers appear to have their sights set on a whole series of public services.

CAP is encouraging local residents to use the November 13 municipal elections to elect representatives who are prepared to protect public services, decent jobs and a safe and healthy environment.

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