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70 per cent don't support garbage privatization east of Yonge: CUPE poll

Last Updated Jan 9, 2017 at 9:14 pm EDT

A blue bin and a black bin are seen in High Park on Oct. 14, 2015. Image courtesy CityNews viewer Astrida Liepins.

It was an issue Mayor John Tory campaigned on but a new survey suggests a majority of east end residents don’t want their garbage collection privatized.

CUPE, the union that represents city sanitation workers, released an independent poll on Monday which, it says, shows 70 per cent of those living east of Yonge Street don’t support privatization.

“Our polls clearly show that the public supports keeping waste collection public,” Matt Filiano, executive vice president of CUPE Local 416, said.

Mayor Tory has been very vocal about his intent to push forward with garbage privatization in the east end.

In November, Tory told the media garbage collection was a vital service that the city provides and that he wanted to look into how the city can deliver the service to its residents effectively and at the lowest cost.

“It is about value for money. Good services at as low a cost as possible,” Tory said.

In 2011, the city pushed to privatize garbage collection west of Yonge Street. The move has saved the city $11.9 million annually.

Filiano says he hopes the mayor listens to the people before pushing through with his plan.

“We just hope that Mayor Tory takes the approach of listening to the very people that elected him to be where he is today,” he said. “The public are the tax payers, they should have a say in what happens in their city.”

Filiano wouldn’t comment on whether the union would push forward with any work stoppage in an attempt to force the city’s hand on the issue.

The poll measured the public’s opinion on garbage collection through two cohorts – residents East and West of Yonge Street.

Approximately 1,200 people took part in the survey, which is accurate within +/- 4.2%, 19 times out of 20.

To view the complete poll results click here.