A key City of Toronto committee has shelved discussions about whether to fully privatize the city’s garbage, recycling and organics collection.
The committee has delayed dealing with staff and independent reports on the benefits and drawbacks of contracting out solid waste collection east of Yonge Street. People living west of Yonge Street already have their garbage collected by private companies.
CUPE 416 is disappointed the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee has chosen to ignore the advice of staff and of independent, third-party consulting firm Ernst & Young – advice requested by the committee’s chair. Instead, committee members have delayed this important decision for at least a year. The evidence and facts in the report pointed to what should have been a different outcome.
A key finding of both reports is that the current model, in which the city directly operates half of the city’s solid waste management, delivers high value and quality of service. Overall, the public sector is doing a better job than privatized service delivery when it comes to complaints, diversion, and cost.
Another key theme of the advice – and of other independent research – is the danger of upsetting the current balance between public and private solid waste delivery. Contracting out any more of the city’s solid waste services would mean losing control of this vital service forever.
CUPE 416 members, who Ernst & Young have agreed are providing great service to the public, look forward to continuing to provide that great service now and in the future.

Learn more about public solid waste excellence in Toronto, and across the country, in the articles and briefings below.