Privatization vs. Automation of Trash Pickup

This link,, to a report in the Toledo Blade mentions two possible options. Privatization which would save $3.6 million, and “a second option, which would save nearly $3 million a year, is to spend $12.2 million to buy 40 new automated refuse trucks and continue with city workers collecting trash and recyclables “. I prefer the first option, but I wonder if we should keep the trucks, and lease them to the private sector (in case we find out that it is not working). Rather than being rail-roaded into a “fire sale”, we could keep the trucks, maintain them, and lease them to private contractors to bring in needed cash flow to the city.

There are those who believe the government should never be in any kind of "service" that the private sector can do. That we should get out the business as quickly as possible, even if we cost taxpayers money in the process by getting rid of assets at "fire sale" prices to the private sector.

No votes yet

Anyone care to venture where the $12.2 million for 40 new automated refuse trucks would come from? At this point in time I do not see how we can afford to take such a gamble. Perhaps it will be a failure but it seems to me between privatization and automation, that privatization is preferable.

Old South End Broadway

It is the City switching from one contracted group to another contracted group, then locking themselves into paying a set sum.

Privatization means letting people decide. Instead of the City making yet another bad decision.

The City should get out of the way. Let consumers drive the market. Let consumers make their own decisions.

Let the market drive prices.

Just get the City out of the way and let hauling companies court the individual consumer. Let the bidding wars begin.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

"Privatization means letting people decide." I believe this is a part of the lawsuit on the "trash fee".

They stated that it is a tax because unlike other fees you can't opt out and not receive the service. And if you don't pay the fee where does the city get their money back? Oh yeah taxes.

Maybe people who want the government to provide more services should realize without regulation government gets out of control.


I know folks who've worked for the government on the local, state and federal levels. Locally in Wood, Lucas and Sandusky counties, and for the cities of Toledo and BG.

The common thread is that EVERY ONE of them will tell you just how much waste is built in anything run by the government.

LCBM is correct. The more we can get the government out of this type of thing, the better off we'll be.

We attend church up in Temperance, so we know many people from the Bedford area, and they all are satisfied with their private service

..governments have anything to do with either contracting, or regulating, or inspecting the work done by the private contractors? Or do you have to sue any time there is a problem with the service?

Old South End Broadway

Right off the top of my head, I can think of three different private companies that I can select to pick up my trash.

If I don't like the service I receive, I fire that company and hire one of the others. The company I employ right now knows that I am doing them a favor and they respond accordingly with good service, low prices and quality.

No need to get anyone else involved, no need to sue, no fuss.

So what do you do in Toledo when there is a problem with trash pickup?

Since I used to live in Toledo I already know that answer. You do NOTHING. You could call the City and try to talk to someone in charge, and if you ever do find a live body at their government desk, the answer you get will probably be something like "get over it. There is nothing you can do to us government sanitation workers and we know it."

The City and it's workers know there is no choice for you and they can give you lousy service if they damn well please.

What else are you going to do? You can decide not to put your trash out, but you are still going to pay for the service or lack of service. It's in your tax bill. You can't opt out.

One more thought. I am 100% sure that any company I hire will have to abide by the law. So since there are laws in Michigan regarding employment, pay rates, littering, refuse disposal, etc. I am sure a private company is more inclined to do an even better job since NOT keeping it's customers and the locals happy might result in fines and/or jail time.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

I'm not sure you have to worry about losing money at a "fire sale"...


Julian Highsmith, commissioner of the city division of solid waste, said Toledo's aging fleet of trash trucks has to be replaced no matter which plan is chosen, since they will cost $800,000 this year for maintenance and regular repairs.


Sounds like the trucks might not fetch top dollar anyhow.

...quite a few years once the private sector gets hold of them. They'll be snapped up. Maybe even a few new private businesses will get the start they need. So we better choose our collectors wisely. We might end up with firms that don't make their collections because their trucks broke down.

Old South End Broadway

I already use a private company for my trash pickup anyhow. (Sylvania Twp)

Recently, I felt that I was overpaying for the service I got from one company. Called around and got a few quotes. Now I have another private company that gives me the same level of service for a much more reasonable price.

Maybe you're onto something re: Toledo's trucks though. If Toledo decides to privatize, maybe I should talk my husband into the "waste management" business. There are already several private companies around, but they'd either need to expand or a new company enter the market to take care of the City of Toledo's business too. If you're right about the fleet of trucks, maybe we'll be out there at the fire sale... ;)

Bouncing around ? Where is the leadership. If we go private why would we still need to buy new trucks? Let the private company provide their own vehicles.

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