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Cost of recommended private sector waste collection contract soars 15 per cent in Hamilton

A 15 per cent increase in the cost of waste collection on Hamilton mountain and in the suburbs, goes before council on Wednesday.
A 15 per cent increase in the cost of waste collection on Hamilton mountain and in the suburbs, goes before council on Wednesday. Global News

There’s another case of sticker shock at city hall.

Hamilton politicians are being asked to award a seven-year contract to collect blue boxes city-wide and garbage across the mountain and within the former suburban municipalities to GFL Environmental.

READ MORE: City of Hamilton, waste collectors find common ground

The annual operating cost would be close to $23 million per year, an increase of about $3 million, or 15 per cent.

GFL is also the current service provider, and the new contract would run from March 2021 until April 2028.

Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson blames a lack of competition for the huge price increase, arguing that “too many mergers and acquisitions” have resulted in the city getting only two bids through its request for proposals.

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Ferguson says “every week we have another trend where someone is trying to screw the taxpayer,” citing a 17 per cent increase in municipal insurance contracts, an “exponential” increase in the cost of operating the municipal recycling facility and the rising cost of a judicial review into safety issues related to the Red Hill Valley Expressway as three examples.

READ MORE: Weekly garbage collection to continue in Hamilton through 2028

A staff report says there are a variety of reasons for the increase, but that the proposal does reflect what staff are seeing in the market.

The seven-year forecast cost for waste collection services is approximately $230 million based on an estimated annual escalation factor of 2 per cent and projected residential growth.

Curbside waste collection service in Hamilton is provided by both the public and private sector, using a 50/50 service model.

Public forces collect garbage, green bin, leaf and yard waste and bulk waste across the lower city, while private companies collect garbage, green bin, leaf and yard waste and bulk
waste on the mountain and in suburban communities, in addition to collecting blue boxes for the entire city.

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Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario moving forward with 15 proposals for various COVID-19-related projects – May 21, 2020

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