Image copyright Supplied Image caption Who knows what can happen to a scrap of paper?
Private trash haulers, meant to save Toronto taxpayers millions, may cost the city much more.
Researchers are reviewing whether those services generated higher quality waste than those provided by the city.
Took the garbage to a collection truck? You may not like what you get back.
Professor Thomas Drury, a waste management expert at the University of Toronto, said people should be wary of outsourced services.
“I think it’s possible to replicate, potentially, the waste management experience that we’re having in Toronto.”
He noted that private providers had different levels of expertise.
“What I’m telling them is come and have a look at our formal literature review,” he said.
“All the academic work that has come out in relation to waste management says that what we really need, is a comprehensive comprehensive waste management strategy that comes from the top down.”
A report released in November found Toronto was losing $164m (£118m) a year – almost half its trash collection budget – because it was failing to improve recycling.
Researchers looked at recycling returns in the city’s neighbourhoods, between 2012 and 2017.
They found that recycling rates rose in some areas, but fell in others, and in some that continued to drop in 2018.
“This has important public health implications,” the report reads.
You may not like what you get back from a private, outsourced services
It recommends that Toronto abandon efforts to close the city’s own waste collection services, and instead invest in improved practices.
“They’re getting two or three solid waste-related questions a week in my office,” Professor Drury said.
“That’s a lot of stuff to take into account. And I would probably make the same recommendation.
“Maybe there’s a better way to do this.”
The Conservative Party of Canada has demanded answers from Toronto Mayor John Tory.
In a statement, Mr Tory said he was “disappointed” by the findings.
“We’re going to find out what happened – we’ll try to do it as quickly as possible,” he added.
Don’t you have better things to do with your time and money?
You can read the full Toronto study here.