So the introduction of contracted out garbage collection has not gone smoothly in its first two days. I don’t necessarily take that as a sign of anything other than that transitions are hard, and I wouldn’t pass any judgement about what this says about the quality and effectiveness of the service we’ll be getting from the contractor for a few weeks yet. But this comment in the Globe from from Denzil Minnan-Wong, the Works Committee chair and the city’s political point-man on garbage collection, concerns me a bit:
“I think we expected that there were going to be some growing pains,” he said in an interview Wednesday afternoon. “We just didn’t really understand the nature and scope of it. Over the next number of weeks we’re going to have to work out the kinks because sustained non-performance is not an acceptable arrangement.”
You didn’t understand the nature and the scope of it? Oh jeez. At least he has the last sentence right. Two things as we move forward: the city needs to absolutely insist on the quality and level of service specified in the contract. And the company—not the city—will need to swallow any unanticipated costs involved in consistently delivering that service. Especially since detractors of the contract award repeatedly said they did not believe the lowball bid from GFL could cover the cost of doing the job properly, and GFL and the supporters of the contract insisted that it could.
That said, I think it’ll be several months until we have enough information to say exactly how this is or isn’t working. And in the meantime, pinkos will be glad to note that the private sector can make a hash of introducing new things every bit as effectively as the public sector does.
Photo: Rene Johnston/Toronto Star