When Toronto privatized garbage collection west of Yonge street last year, ideologues on the left panicked. They argued that it would lead to worse service, pointing to initial collection delays when private collection began. A local union even created a complaint line.
As I argued in a National Post article on the subject, this highlights all that is right with contracting out services: it’s much easier to hold private companies accountable than government.
Nine months later, the private contractor generates fewer complaints than municipal collectors, who continue to provide service in much of the city. Additionally, the outsourcing is expected to save the city $11 million annually.
Sometimes governments can get more for less, if they’re willing to embrace markets.