Several years ago, our office appointed a gentleman to the Public Works Advisory Board who was a former Vice President with private waste management company Republic Services. He took the time to go through every single aspect of our operations, and issued a report detailing the numerous ways we could reduce costs while maintaining or improving service levels. Some of his recommendations were simple: run your trucks longer (A LOT LONGER) before retiring them. Some were more difficult given government policies: schedule drivers in shifts, using the same truck, one very early, one late.
But these, along with many other changes he suggested, were good ideas, and we need to incorporate them. We cannot simply continue to raise prices year after year without taking these steps, and others, to rein in costs – we are harming our poorest citizens, and those on fixed incomes, far too much by simple ignoring efficiency and raising costs. We need to follow the advice he gave us, not bury it without a second thought – which is exactly what City leaders did the first time he proposed these measures.
(I will attempt to get an original copy of the report and post it here when available.)