A new report reviews the international evidence on privatized solid waste collection, and finds the facts don’t support claims that privatization lowers costs.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives study concludes that privatized waste collection is costly for governments for two main reasons. A few large corporations tend to dominate a region, leading to little real competition. It’s also expensive to monitor and enforce the rules with private contractors, and a solid waste sector.

For municipalities with a mix of public and privatized collection, the report is a clear warning that more contracting out will not deliver cost savings or improve service quality. The findings highlight the importance of in-house expertise in stopping sky-high contractor costs.