The private-versus-public garbage pickup debate - a detailed look at GFL Environmental's service indicators since pickup between Yonge and the Humber River went private August 7.
Why the GFL numbers may be worse than they look
• They're estimates based on calls to 311, the city's customer service line. They don't include all complaints made to councillors' offices or to Solid Waste Management Services.
• It's unclear how many of the more than 3,000 complaints received by CUPE Local 416, the union representing unionized workers, overlap with calls made to 311.
• The breakdown of the real numbers is being kept under wraps by Solid Waste Management.
The big problem
• We don't know how many of the complaints about GFL service occurred in the first two weeks, when the company brought in extra trucks from operations in Etobicoke and Hamilton to meet the 5 pm deadline for pickup.
• The situation seems to have stabilized, according to councillors we asked. Fewer complaints are being received than in the hurly-burly of the first two weeks.
• But areas in the downtown core and west end seem to be having more problems than those in the inner burbs.
The real worrisome parts for garbage privateers
• The huge jump in operator complaints, i.e., the folks picking up the stuff, especially given the big deal made early on about how much more conscientious the GFL guys seemed to be compared to city collectors.
• GFL's complaint numbers looked at as a percentage of the total received city-wide accounted for almost half (49.7 per cent) of all service complaints in the city's three districts.
One caveat in the complaint numbers
• In District 3 in Scarborough, where pickup is public, the number of service requests, missed collection complaints and operator complaints is also up.
• But those complaints make up a far lower percentage of citywide totals, between 21 and 25 per cent, than do GFL's.
Is the city cutting the private sector slack?
• The city has not yet fined GFL for non-performance, despite the inescapable conclusion that complaints are up significantly, by 200 to 330 per cent.