City of Winnipeg, union working to move garbage collection pilot project forward

A garbage truck collects trash near Valour Road. (Feb. 5, 2016). Lorraine Nickel/Global News

Winnipeg city councillors are pushing back a pilot project that would bring some garbage collection services back in-house.

The project would see city workers pick up garbage from multi-family dwellings east of the Red River on a two-year trial basis.

But Winnipeg’s public service says having union members do the work currently being done by contractors would be more expensive.

A report to councillors states it would cost $328,000 more per year of the pilot to have city workers collecting garbage compared to the current budget for contractors providing the service.

But the head of the union representing the city workers who would take on the collection said the pilot project was part of a settlement agreement based with the city, so they’re working with the city to allow it to move forward.

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“Right now we’re currently looking at some of those figures to see if we can get some of those costs brought down,” said Gord Delbridge, president of CUPE Local 500.

“The city’s purchased four trucks, invested in some infrastructure — we’ve worked with them on that to some extent.

Councillors at Tuesday’s executive policy committee meeting voted to have the public service continue dialogue with the union and report back in 30 days.

The city was unable to accommodate an interview on Wednesday but a spokesperson said there is no recommendation not to move forward.

The pilot project was initially planned to begin in February 2020.

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