On January 7th, Kingston's City Staff recommended the sale of City recycling assets (including trucks) and the privatization of curbside recycling collection--city council will be making a decision on this issue at the February 18th meeting.
At present, while East and West Kingston are serviced by a privately-owned subcontractor, Central Kingston curbside recycling collection is administered by public employees using publicly-owned infrastructure. This accounts for 41% of all municipal collection. If our city's recycling collection fleet is sold off now, we would suffer a financial loss should we try to reclaim public ownership in the future.
As their rationale for privatizing recycling collection, city staff cited proposed changes to the provincial recycling funding model that would not take effect until 2023-2025 at the earliest (if ever). The future of Ontario recycling funding is unknown, and we cannot read the minds of provincial politicians. Given this uncertainty, it would be premature to dispose of assets and commit to total privatization.
Furthermore, our power as a community to make democratic decisions about how recycling is collected in our city is undermined when we're bound by multi-year private contracts. Public services that are kept under public control can be assessed and improved upon in keeping with our values and strategies for increasing local rates of landfill diversion.
The signatories of this petition ask the Mayor and City Council to maintain control and ownership of city recycling resources and reject privatization at the February 18th City Council Meeting.