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Picking up Savings: The Benefits of Competition in Municipal Waste Services

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin Dachis

    (C.D. Howe Institute)

Abstract

Cities save money through competitive tendering of waste services contracts. This study finds municipalities that have their waste services provided through contracted operations have substantially lower average costs per household than municipalities with few of their services provided through contracts. The study shows that where city employees provide the bulk of waste services, such as in Toronto (and many other cities in Ontario), Vancouver, and Calgary, municipalities could reduce the costs of their waste services through increased contracting. Contracting can also be used to attain other goals, such as increased recycling rates, if municipalities provide incentive payments for contractors who meet their targets. The study, which analyzes the finances of hundreds of cities in Ontario, also finds cost savings from contracting will be apparent only if municipalities follow certain guidelines. Contracts should clearly define outcomes, and not specific processes, that contractors must meet.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Dachis, 2010. "Picking up Savings: The Benefits of Competition in Municipal Waste Services," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 308, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdh:commen:308
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    File URL: https://www.cdhowe.org/picking-savings-benefits-competition-municipal-waste-services
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Philippe Bergevin & David Laidler, 2010. "Room for Manoeuvre – Monetary Policy Over the Next Eighteen Months, and the Allure of Price-Level Targeting," e-briefs 97, C.D. Howe Institute.
    2. Daniel Boothby & Torben Drewes, 2010. "The Payoff: Returns to University, College and Trades Education in Canada, 1980 to 2005," e-briefs 104, C.D. Howe Institute.
    3. Williamson, Oliver, 2009. "The Theory of the Firm as Governance Structure: From Choice to Contract," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 6, pages 111-134, December.
    4. Dave Sawyer & Carolyn Fischer, 2010. "Better Together? The Implications of Linking Canada-US Greenhouse Gas Policies," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 307, August.
    5. Lawrence L. Herman, 2010. "Trend Spotting: NAFTA Disputes After Fifteen Years," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 133, July.
    6. John Richards, 2010. "Reducing Lone-Parent Poverty: A Canadian Success Story," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 305, June.
    7. Angelo Melino & Michael Parkin, 2010. "Greater Transparency Needed," e-briefs 102, C.D. Howe Institute.
    8. Robert Knox, 2010. "Who Can Work Where: Reducing Barriers to Labour Mobility in Canada," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 131, June.
    9. Jan Carr, 2010. "Power Sharing: Developing Inter-Provincial Electricity Trade," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 306, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin Dachis, "undated". "How Ottawa Can Deliver a Reformed Canada Post," e-briefs 162, C.D. Howe Institute.
    2. Angelo Melino, 2011. "Moving Monetary Policy Forward: Why Small Steps - and a Lower Inflation Target - Make Sense for the Bank of Canada," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 319, January.
    3. Daniel Schwanen, "undated". "Uneasy Birth: What Canadians Should Expect from a Canada-EU Trade Deal," e-briefs 163, C.D. Howe Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Urban Issues; competitive tendering; waste services contracts; Ontario; municipalities; contracting;

    JEL classification:

    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories

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