Private contractors $800K cheaper than city workers for bulky waste collection: report

Regina to save $132K in switch to garbage pick-up every other week: report

It'll cost the city an extra $800,000 a year for city workers to start collecting Winnipeg's bulky waste, according to a report by the city's solid waste services division.

A report heading to Monday's water and waste committee meeting found that it would cost $1.8 million annually for the city to move away from contracting out bulky waste residential collection and begin collecting it using in-house staff.

In comparison, if the city continued contracting out the services, it would cost roughly $985,000 a year beginning in 2018, the report states.

Unions have long argued private contractors are more expensive

The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500, which represents over 5,000 employees working at the City of Winnipeg, has consistently argued all waste collection — including garbage, recycling and bulky waste — could be done more cheaply by city workers. It's been a divisive issue at city hall for years. 

In November, the water and waste committee agreed to bring the collection of bulky waste in-house. The public service was also asked for a report analyzing how much the change would cost.

Currently, two private contractors are responsible for the service, which removes big items such as appliances, furniture or mattresses. 

Bulky waste removal cost the city about $1.2 million in 2016. According to the water and waste report, increased competition could bring that price down to $935,000 a year, if the current contracts were renewed. 

Fewer trash fires in Winnipeg

Meanwhile, a separate report heading to the same committee on Monday shows trash and rubbish fire rates have decreased significantly in the past six years.

The report by Mark Reshaur, the WFPS assistant chief for prevention and education, counted 1,429 trash fires in 2010, compared to 256 in 2016.

The decline is partially attributed to the removal of auto-bins in 2012. The large metal bins that served multiple homes were phased out and replaced with smaller rolling carts.

The report noted further education on community fire prevention will lead to a further reduction in fires.

Of the 256 trash fires last year, 25 were deemed accidental, 64 attributed to arson and 167 were undetermined.

In 2010, 195 fires were attributed to arson, 16 were set accidentally and 1,218 were undetermined.