The union that represents 500 of the City of Toronto’s garbage collectors says it fears Mayor John Tory will order that waste collection east of Yonge Street be contracted out in the New Year.

CUPE Local 416 vice president Matt Figliano says his union has reason to believe officials are preparing a proposal to privatize remaining garbage collection, arguing that it will save money.

“City employees have been flexible in waste collection. They have shown willingness to work with the city, but in response, Mayor Tory wants to kick them to the curb, just like the trash they collect.”

He said the union expects that solid waste division general manager Jim McKay will submit a proposal to privatize garbage collection, and that the city has already stopped the replacement of waste collection vehicles and other equipment in recent months in anticipation of the move.

Figliano says the union will argue in the coming weeks that publicly-run waste collection is no more costly than private; something he says is supported by an analysis authored for the city by Ernst and Young in 2015.

Last month, Toronto Mayor John Tory called this analysis “out of date” because of the new collective agreement signed with city outside workers earlier this year and said he strongly supported a re-examination of whether to outsource garbage collection east of Yonge Street.

“(Tory) is not using evidence-based decision making when it comes to this issue,” Figliano said.

Waste collection west of Yonge Street was contracted out in 2011. In 2013, city staff estimated privatization saved taxpayers approximately $11 million.