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  #11  
Old Feb 1st 2012, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: Garbage disposal: a social issue

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In my area disposal (all privately owned under contract to municipalities) offers one container for garbage and and another for recyclable glass, plastic, aluminum and approved paper. Recyclables are machine sorted. Driving down a city street on pickup day it looks like 25% of the residences have the recyclable materials container out for pickup.
Compliance rates up here in Toronto's suburbs look much closer to 80-90% judging by the number of recyclable material containers out there.

And yes, almost all garbage and recycling services are contracted out by the local municipality to private contractors. There is always a huge difference in services between those localities that use private contractors and those that use traditionally unionized municipal workers. Thankfully, most of Toronto falls under the private contractor part where service is much better, more efficient and cheaper by every measure (and no semi-annual garbage strikes in the summer as is common with the unionized workers - ironically striking in order to 'protect' their jobs - apparently oblivious to the fact that it is their striking that justifies using private contractors! ).
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Old Feb 1st 2012, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: Garbage disposal: a social issue

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Compliance rates up here in Toronto's suburbs look much closer to 80-90% judging by the number of recyclable material containers out there.

And yes, almost all garbage and recycling services are contracted out by the local municipality to private contractors. There is always a huge difference in services between those localities that use private contractors and those that use traditionally unionized municipal workers. Thankfully, most of Toronto falls under the private contractor part where service is much better, more efficient and cheaper by every measure (and no semi-annual garbage strikes in the summer as is common with the unionized workers - ironically striking in order to 'protect' their jobs - apparently oblivious to the fact that it is their striking that justifies using private contractors! ).
Contractors can be union too.
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Old Feb 1st 2012, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Garbage disposal: a social issue

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Contractors can be union too.
Sure, that's theoretically true. In reality, not so much.

Besides, if those contractors were union, it is unlikely they would get the public contract since outsourcing jobs away from the municipal unions (and their passion for strikes) is generally the public policy goal here.

Even if there is no cost savings between the municipal union workers and the outside contractor, contracting with the outside contractor is way more popular with the public (because it gets away from the union-strike problem). This is exactly the case in Toronto - there is no cost savings for private contrators vs municipal workers (in garbage collection specifically) - but the public overwhelmingly prefers the private contractors (no strikes and way better service).
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Old Feb 1st 2012, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Garbage disposal: a social issue

That is the issue especially here in Moscow, but also in other large cities in Russia. Construction companies, municipal governments (for basic cleaning and/or maintenance work), some factories, and, as we see now, even garbage facilities bring in and employ these illegal immigrant gastarbaitery ("guest workers"). There are 14,000,000 of these guest workers, mostly from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and smaller numbers from Armenia, China, Vietnam, and North Korea. These are miserable people. Many of them live even worse then rural Russians. In the village, you at least have a house. The guest workers live in horrible conditions. The luckier ones live underground





This is from a recently discovered "underground city" in a 1940s bomb shelter where 500 Uzbeks were found living, including some women and (not shown) children! The picture of one wall has those black dots, those are insects, cockroaches. As I said, terrible conditions. But there are the well-off ones, actually, by gastarbaiter standards.

Some live in tent cities, like these near Volgograd


Here, migrant workers from Tajikistan rest on the roof of their dwelling after a day working at one of Moscow's street markets


Gastarbaiters unloading newly arrived bags of vegetables for sale at the same market
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Old Feb 1st 2012, 09:41 PM
MeMyselfAndI MeMyselfAndI is offline
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Default Re: Garbage disposal: a social issue

On the same market, more gastabaiters wait for jobs
the blue containers are their homes.

Gastarbaiters in their dwelling container after work, same market


Gastarbaiters clean a street, Moscow


Gastarbaiters eat during a break at a construction site in Saint Petersburg


Guest workers at a construction site in Moscow


A guest worker sleeping, same site


Child of a single mother from Central Asia who came to Moscow to find work


Guest worker's family and their dwelling


As local children prepare to go swimming on the other side; a guest worker washes his clothes in the Yauza river, near Moscow


Guest worker shaves in the morning before work


Gastarbaiters assemble at the entrance to the employment center, looking for work


Guest workers at a Russian language class


Federal Migration Service agent (in red vest) checks documents of guest workers ina freshly discovered "underground city" in the basement of a old apartment building


And another


Illegal immigrants detained by police are placed into holding cells to await deportation


I am grateful every day, that I do not have to live like this. Whenever I want to complain about my life, I remember these people...
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  #16  
Old Feb 2nd 2012, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Garbage disposal: a social issue

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Sure, that's theoretically true. In reality, not so much.

Besides, if those contractors were union, it is unlikely they would get the public contract since outsourcing jobs away from the municipal unions (and their passion for strikes) is generally the public policy goal here.

Even if there is no cost savings between the municipal union workers and the outside contractor, contracting with the outside contractor is way more popular with the public (because it gets away from the union-strike problem). This is exactly the case in Toronto - there is no cost savings for private contrators vs municipal workers (in garbage collection specifically) - but the public overwhelmingly prefers the private contractors (no strikes and way better service).
With one exception, cost, that describes the situation in my area. Muni workers are unionized with the majority of their very generous health and retirement costs paid by the public (as in Canada). Private contractors provide employees standard health benefits with normal employee contributions and 401k retirement plans at a 50% employer contribution rate.

The savings are substantial and in this high unemployment area the general public is very aware of it. It is very much a political issue and politicians are aware of public outrage if garbage collection fees were increased to accommodate using muni workers. That doesn't include the well known drastic drop in efficiency from using civil service employees.
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