Dozens of communities to be included in privatized Calgary black bin collection pilot

City Council will look at privatizing a part of the black bin pickup program.

The City of Calgary is moving ahead with a pilot project for private black cart collection.

The city issued a request for proposals (RFP) on Monday to find a private-sector contractor to collect black carts at about 88,000 homes in much of Calgary’s north and west.

The proposed area covers all of Wards 1 and 2, much of Wards 4 and 6, and some of Ward 3.  A total of 41 communities will be a part of the pilot.

Read more: Calgary city council to look at privatizing services to save on tax bills

In November 2019, Council approved the pilot to contract out up to 25 per cent of residential black cart collection services. At the time, Ward 1 Coun. Ward Sutherland said the city could save at least $1 million by contracting out some of the city’s waste and recycling programs.

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When the motion was passed in council, Athabasca University labour professor Bob Barnetson told Global News that residents could see a decline in that service.

“What tends to happen over time is we see the quality of the service begins to deteriorate when it’s privatized, and the cost of that service tends to escalate because, of course, now a private provider not only has to provide a service but also make a profit,” Barnetson told Global News in November.

Communities included in the pilot will be:

  • Ambleton
  • Arbour Lake
  • Aspen Woods
  • Beddington Heights
  • Bowness
  • Christie Park
  • Citadel
  • Coach Hill
  • Cougar Ridge
  • Crestmont
  • Dalhousie
  • Discovery Ridge
  • Edgemont
  • Evanston
  • Glacier Ridge
  • Greenwood/Greenbriar
  • Hamptons
  • Haskayne
  • Hawkwood
  • Hidden Valley
  • Kincora
  • MacEwan Glen
  • Medicine Hill
  • Nolan Hill
  • Panorama Hills
  • Patterson
  • Ranchlands
  • Rocky Ridge
  • Royal Oak
  • Sage Hill
  • Sandstone Valley
  • Scenic Acres
  • Sherwood
  • Silver Springs
  • Springbank Hill
  • Strathcona Park
  • Symons Valley Ranch
  • Tuscany
  • Valley Ridge
  • Varsity
  • West Springs

Monday, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the collection of communities “made the most sense” when selecting up to 25 per cent of black cart collection for the pilot.

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“That sounds like a big number but we believe that’s 15-ish trucks,” Nenshi said Monday.

“And we’re taking a very thoughtful approach to this to say, ‘Let’s see what the market has to say first. Let’s see if there’s real cost savings.’ If there are we’ll go forward and do that. And then we’ll spend some time examining that and seeing if it works before we make a decision on whether to increase it or not.”

Nenshi also said there’s a possibility for local entrepreneurship to step in on this pilot.

“They’ll have to make a capital investment probably. And so you’d have to make sure that a company had the financing in place in order to buy a small fleet of these trucks themselves, the financial wherewithal to do the maintenance, the ability to hire people.”

The pilot is expected to begin in 2022 and run at least seven years.

–with files from Doug Vaessen

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