links for 2010-11-25

  • More on the economics of public vs. private garbage collection

    "There are three reasons for contracting-in commercial garbage collection. Studies have shown it can be more cost-effective, contribute to greater waste diversion and deliver a profit to local government coffers. Even some advocates of private garbage collection, such as Ben Dachis, have even noted that “during the last decade, American cities have been contracting work back in at a faster rate than they have contracted out.”

  • Privatized garbage collection led to market manipulation and higher costs on Vancouver Island:

    "The Competition Bureau has reached an agreement with Waste Services (CA) Inc. (WSI) and Waste Management of Canada Corporation (WM) to stop abusing their jointly dominant position in commercial waste collection services in central Vancouver Island.

    WSI and WM were foreclosing competition by using long-term contracts that locked in customers and included similar, and highly restrictive, terms such as automatic renewal clauses, liquidated damages (significant penalties for early contract termination) and rights of first refusal. These contracts resulted in substantially less competitive markets for commercial waste collection services in central Vancouver Island, leading to higher prices and reduced choice for businesses."