Poll says private garbage pick-up in Coquitlam stinks

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

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Coquitlam is about to get a new private contractor to pick up the trash

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart has had enough and he's not going to take it anymore - at least when it comes to poor trash collection service that is. The Tri-City News is reporting Coquitlam residents were recently polled on the subject of garbage pick-up service from their private contractor and gave it a thumbs down.

That's why Mayor Stewart and his council have signed a new contract with Smithrite Disposal Ltd based in Coquitlam to see if they can do a better job. Here is what Stewart told the Tri-City News:

Coqitlam has suffered for five years and that's going to end. We're going to have a good grasp of the administration of this contract.

The $5.1 million agreement will expire on June 30, 2012 and could be extended until 2015 if both parties agree

There was some talk of bringing the service in-house last November, but Council narrowly voted against that option preferring to stick with private sector option.

Coquitlam resident will also be paying a lot more for their garbage pickup thanks to new fees the City has imposed. The annual fee will skyrocket from $160 to $240 per year by 2010. The City of Vancouver is one of only a handful of cities in the region that has retained public sector garbage collection. Most private collectors are non-unionized, while city garbage collectors are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

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The Mayor of Coquitlam has to answer the following questions:

(i) Why didn't the City have a firm hold of the contract when it was first signed?

(ii) Why did it take so long before recognizing there was a problem when not even a year into the new service, complaints were raised;

(iii) why, for the love of God, would you even think of renewing a contract with the company when it is clear that they have failed in every aspect of the existing one - history is a past indicator of future performance.

(iv) And, perhaps most seriously, why are the annual fees going up so much when we currently are not getting what we paid for now, i.e,. our service has been nonexistent at best and you have the audacity to charge more for it?

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