In-house garbage plan
North Glengarry would save $100,000 annually if it went with its own waste management service provided by municipal employees and municipal equipment.
That is the pitch being made by the township’s public works department in its proposal for an in-house waste and recycling collection system. Department staff found that over the course of the existing six-year contract, the total cost is $2,397,311.
“Our in-house services would have theoretically cost at the very most $1,780,684 with a total savings of $616,627 or $102,771 per year,” reads a submission by former public works director Ryan Morton.
These costs include the purchase of two collection trucks. “These figures also factor in the most expensive truck money can buy at $385,000. However township requirements are not that expensive,” writes Mr. Morton in a report submitted a few weeks ago.
Over a 12-year period with the in-house service, the municipality stands to save approximately $2.5 million. “These funds can immediately start impacting the infrastructure gap that exists within the road network or be used for anything council deems a priority,” Mr. Morton observes. Council has deferred a decision on the plan. With municipal employees doing the collection, the township would provide a “higher level of service at a significantly reduced cost.”
With the current contract expiring in August of 2020, now is the appropriate time to investigate and review this specific service, Mr. Morton tells council.
According to the plan, the township would call tenders on a contract that would cover 2020 to 2026. If the public works can better the private sector bids, the department would acquire the two trucks.
The department is confident that “the service can be delivered more effectively and efficiently in-house than contracted. However, the contracting of the service would not change the existing service levels.”
Staff has presented these essential findings to the CAO and Director of Finance for review and received support to move forward with the business plan.
“Unlike contractors, the township is not profit-based when it comes to waste and recycling collection services. This allows the township to provide these services at cost. By providing our own waste and recycling collection in house, the township would see significant cost savings when compared to our current waste and recycling collection contract. The entire idea behind service delivery review is to ensure that the Township is providing the best possible service in the most responsible and economical way possible,” reads the proposal.
The service would be furnished by expanding the duties of the internal employees.
“One objective of providing these services in
house would be to make use of surplus funds to direct towards other priorities such as closing the roads capital deficit. The program pays for itself, so prorating the purchase makes sense providing that the trucks would have a 12year lifespan. This is the maximum lifespan of this type of equipment as reported by the manufacturer without significant rebuilds,” Mr. Morton explains.
Tracking performance, bags
“When bringing the service inhouse, staff will be able to incorporate the trucks in to our GPS system and also our Work Management Software,” writes Mr. Morton.
With large item collection, the pick-up can be dispatched through its work management system which emails residents that their requests have been processed. The GPS system can tell when their items were collected. “Collection staff can also close the request in the field which will tell the residents automatically by email that their items have been collected and include before and after photos.”
The municipality will continue to receive all complaints regarding collection services through the RARE recycling facility. “Many residents are unaware that the collectors who currently pick up
their waste and recycling are not municipal employees. Therefore, the township still receives the majority of the complaints or requests associated with collection services,” the document notes.
“By providing the service in house, Township employees would be able to track the location of the garbage truck and at what time it passed each residence. This would allow employees to better answer inquiries and complaints about waste and recycling collection.”
The pay and benefits of two sanitation employees will be negotiated with their union prior to the jobs being posted. For the time being, their wages are estimated at $22 per hour.
“With any change in programming or service, it's imperative to communicate to the public,” the proposal reads. “The most important thing to be considered in the communication strategy is to be genuine and honest about some of the challenges that will be encountered and exactly what a resident can do to report those, along with how the Township will respond to those matters.”
The municipality provides waste and recycling services to approximately 4,100 households and just over 10,000 residents. This service is provided by contracted services. The township hauls approximately 2,400 tonnes of waste and roughly 1,200 tonnes of recyclables on top of leaf and yard waste on an annual basis.
NEW SYSTEM EYED: North Glengarry is weighing the merits of having municipal workers handle garbage collection instead of contracting out the job to private companies.