A controversial contract between the City of Toronto and OMG Media, the company that provides the large on-street metal public garbage and recycling bins, was temporarily pulled over concerns that the deal is confusing and incomplete. According to the Toronto Mirror, a June 9, 2003 memo from Public Works Commissioner Barry Gutteridge asked the city’s works committee for more time to clarify recent changes to the deal before council votes on it in July.
The contract has been controversial since it was signed in 1999 and because a suspected Montreal Mafioso was charged with drunk driving in an OMG-owned vehicle this year. Most recently, OMG has asked the city to let it out of a scheduled fee increase next year (from the $15 per bin it pays now to $20 per bin) and to forgo a scheduled 10 per cent cut of advertising revenue. These cuts add up to about $4-million in lost revenue over the decade-long life of the contract. In exchange, OMG has offered to add 1,000 more bins to city streets, increase the number of bins providing free public service announcements, and not to take the city to court over alleged damages done to the bins by city snow plows.