GUELPH POLITICAST #130 – Reviewing the Service Review

Is our waste collection and processing the best it can possibly be? That was the simple question at the heart of the Service Review of the City of Guelph’s Solid Waste Department. Solid Waste was the first of three pilot Service Review projects approved by city council, an immense months long project that yielded 11 recommendations.This is the rest of the story.

This week, the podcast journeys back to city hall to talk to Peter Busatto, the General Manager of Environmental Services, and Katherine Grey the Program Manager of Business Process Management. If there are two people to talk to about the Solid Waste Service Review, it’s them; Solid Waste falls under Busatto’s supervision, and Grey’s team helped create and lead the review process.

It turned out to be a complicated process indeed. Though five out of six of the review areas showed that Guelph delivered on par, or better, when compared to the waste collection in other municipalities, there was one scratching nag, and it was the Material Recovery Facility, or the MRF. In March, there were layoffs, but it was not the worst case scenario a lot of workers were worried about. That worst cast was the dreaded ‘P’ word, “privatization.”

So how did we get from the approval of the pilot project to the first completed service review? How did we get from serious concerns about contracting out garbage collection to the the conciliatory tone of the final report at council? How will what staff learned reviewing Solid Waste be used in the future appraisals of all City Services, including, presently, Guelph Transit? And what did all of us learn through this process about one of the most vital of vital City services?

So let’s review the review with the people that reviewed it on this week’s Guelph Politicast!

You can recap the work of the Solid Waste Service Review here, and that includes the list of all 11 of the review’s recommendations, which will be revisited in expansion package items for council’s consideration during the 2019 budget process.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday’s episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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