Public Values

Waste collection cost-savings 'speculative at best' — report

Independent accountants find cost estimates 'seriously flawed'.

Rosen: How can they know they are saving money if they do not know the cost of doing it themselves?Toronto, ON, May 13, 2011: Al Rosen and Associates, Litigation and Investigative Accountants, has reviewed the City of Toronto's cost estimates related to its proposed contracting out of waste collection west of Yonge Street and found them seriously flawed.

The report, commissioned by the Toronto Civic Employees Union (TCEU), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 416, maintains, "Potential cost savings from contracting out waste collection services are speculative at best."

Further, the report says, "Simply stated, the staff's cost efficiencies of contracting out would have to be labeled as 'fictional'. Available facts do not support staff's claims."

  "City Council needs to have an independent assessment of the cost of in-house delivery."

"We asked Al Rosen and Associates to review all the available information so that City Council and the taxpayers of Toronto could be given as much information and analysis as possible before this crucial decision is made," said Mark Ferguson, president of TCEU/CUPE Local 416.

"All along, we have maintained that the information released by the city was insufficient and inconclusive. That's why we brought in an independent and highly respected accounting firm, one that specializes in investigative reviews, to go over the materials and information the city has supplied.

"It is my opinion that city staff's costing is so fundamentally flawed that City Council needs to have an independent assessment of the cost of in-house delivery," says Rosen. "How can you know whether they are saving money if they don't know how much it costs to do it themselves?"

"I firmly believe that if the city solid waste managers sat down with front-line workers, we could find efficiencies that would save money for taxpayers. We were able to do that when the decision was made to contract back in the collections in the former City of York, and we can do it again," Ferguson said.

"Once again, I call on the city to sit down with us and work together to find those efficiencies. That is what is in the best interest of the residents of Toronto," Ferguson concluded.

Links and sources
  Independent accountant refutes Toronto's costs for proposed contracting out of garbage and recycling

Posted: May 19, 2011

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