Years in the making, private waste collection finally started in Toronto on August 7, 2012, between the Humber River and the west side of Yonge Street.
Some 78 fleet trucks started routes under the $186.4- million seven-year GFL (Green for Life) Environmental contract with the City of Toronto.
Despite extra trucks on the streets for the start of the new contract, GFL faced heavy criticism for a rough start. CEO Patrick Dovigi attributed it to growing pains, noting it could take some four to six weeks for his company to start meeting the 6 p.m. pickup deadline.
Some media reports noted that 500 homes were missed during GFL’s first day of waste collection, which covered essentially 150,000 homes.
CUPE officials are keeping a close watch on the company that has replaced its own workers. They have actually established a new hotline in addition to the city's 311service for any residents keen on filing waste collection complaints.
Waste collection was previously carried out by Toronto’s municipal workers, but city council voted 26-12 in October of 2011 to privatize collection.
Estimates have been made that the City of Toronto could save upwards of $11 million per year under the current GFL contract.
A strike by unionized city workers in the summer of 2009 galvanized support for politicians to make the switch to private collection.
GFL Corporate Profile: GFL Environmental Corporation, comprised of Liquid Waste Division (East & West), Solid Waste Haulage Division, Solid Waste Transfer Division, and GFL Excavating Corp is a fully integrated solid & liquid waste management company that has been involved in the collection and processing of waste from Ontario to British Columbia for over 40 years.