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External articles (35)

Unions in push for local authorities to retake control of services

Public Service Unions “have launched a campaign to boost the powers of local government and to bring privatised services back under the control of local authorities.” The “More Power to You” campaign by Fórsa, SIPTU and Connect “will run ahead of the local elections in May and will urge the public and politicians to sign up to a pledge backing measures including directly-elected mayors, and bringing previously privatised services back under the remit of the public service. Addressing the launch, Dr. Mary Murphy of NUI Maynooth presented a report saying that ‘four dead hands’ had strangled the capacity of local authorities—including privatisation of functions like housing and waste, centralisation by central government, increasing executive control in councils, and austerity.”

Source: RTE.ie

Privatization of the municipal waste system

Privatization of the municipal waste system is “an option” being considered by the mayor of the Provincial Municipality of Chiclayo, Marcos Gasco Arrobas. After years of working under appalling conditions, workers have launched an indefinite strike to protest the annulment of the collective agreement signed with former mayor David Cornejo. Gasco has threatened to fire the workers.

Source: larepublica.pe

Waste disposal contract blocked after fury in Birmingham

A controversial five-year contract with Veolia for Birmingham's waste disposal services has been blocked following widespread criticism. “A major talking point with the original contract surrounds the condition that Veolia is obliged to leave the incinerator in by the end. But even the inquiry failed to shed much light around the issue—at least in public— with much of the debate held in private due to 'commercial sensitivity.’ Cllr Paul Tilsley (Lib Dems, Sheldon) on the committee, said: ‘I can't believe that Birmingham City Council in 1993/94 entered into a contract with Veolia which would at the end of 25 years let them off 'scot-free.’”

Source: birminghammail

Recycling is 'being burned because a refuse giant is overwhelmed'

Recycling is “being burned because a private refuse giant is overwhelmed,” according to a whistleblower. “Veolia has allegedly turned away trucks carrying a total of 40 tonnes of recycling in the week after the festive period. The whistleblower claims the company then incinerated the waste, collected in Brighton, when it ‘should have been recycled.’” Brighton and Hove Council vowed to launch a thorough investigation.

Source: Metro

Move to privatise conservancy services stirs workers, divides residents

The battle over Greater Chennai Corporation’s efforts to privatize solid waste collection has intensified. “As expected, this led to protests by the trade unions of Chennai Corporation, who came together under the umbrella Federation of Associations against Privatization in Chennai Corporation and staged various agitations. This forced the civic body to postpone the opening of bids, which was scheduled during the last week of October, by a month. Now, it is learnt that the civic body has further postponed the opening of bids to December 7. The conservancy workers, especially those who are working on daily wage and contract basis, are apprehensive that they would lose their jobs once private firms took over the works. ‘If the Corporation privatize conservancy works, many would lose their jobs. The private company would not pay minimum wage to workers,’ alleged P. Srinivasalu, general secretary of Chennai Corporation Redflag Union.”

Source: dtNext.in

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets ditches its outsourcing contract with Veolia

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is to take its waste collection, recycling and street cleansing service in-house from April 2020, ditching its outsourcing contract with Veolia. Mayor John Biggs said “this marks the first step in the council’s move towards the delivery of an improved service. It follows on from our recent waste consultation, which generated a huge range of responses from local people and businesses. It’s an important decision and one I’m determined we get right for our residents and the staff involved. I am committed to keeping our streets clean, increasing recycling and making the borough cleaner and greener.” Nearly 50% of contracts are due to expire by the end of 2019.

Source: Materials Recycling World

Centralised federalism in Malaysia: Urgent need to decentralise

Aliran has made a submission to the Committee for Institutional Reform pointing out the urgent need for greater decentralisation to achieve democracy and good governance. There were pointed out the following areas where decentralisation can start: delivery and treatment of water; garbage collection and sewerage; cleaning of roads, drains, rivers and seas; disaster management including rescue in times of floods, fire prevention, natural disasters, and so on; public land transport (licensing and approving routes of stage buses, regulating school, tourist & factory buses, taxis). ferry and river boat transport; maternity clinics and providing primary health services; social welfare services; and later primary and secondary school too.

Source: Aliran

Want to Fight Inequality and Climate Change? Then Improve Public Services

Asked to imagine how we might solve the crises of climate change or inequality, it’s not the first solution that comes to mind. But our public services are among the most effective ways we have to build communities that are vibrant, green and inclusive. That’s the message of The Future is Public, a conference taking place in Montreal in mid-June with coast-to-coast and international participation. There’s a good reason why this role of public services isn’t immediately obvious to many people. We’ve been beset by decades of corporate propaganda that tells us public services are inefficient and irrelevant. That our lives will be improved not by government, but by private businesses.

Source: The Tyee

Tracking the battles for environmental justice: here are the world's top 10

Julie Snorek of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, a researcher for the Environmental Justice Atlas, has helped map out the world’s top ten environmental justice battles, including a conflict involving waste privatization in Delhi, where “middle class residents and informal recyclers joined together to oppose the privatization of waste management and the resulting introduction of incineration.” The Global Alliance of Waste Pickers defends the informal recycling sector in more than 28 countries.

Source: The Conversation

A debate over privatization of refuse collections

As the Birmingham council elections approach, a debate over privatization of refuse collections has gone into high gear. The Liberal Democrats have proposed that the bin service should be broken up into three parts and privatized. The Labour Party is proposing to “launch a Clean Streets Campaign working with community organizations and schools to promote behaviour change while increasing the number of enforcement officers and using mapping to target fly-tipping hotspots”; the Conservatives want to “drive improvement in the waste service by modernising the service and reviewing the service against the best performing collection services in the country”; the Greens say “No privatization of bin services—that will just result in refuse workers being paid poverty wages. We would seek to exit the Veolia contract requiring quotas of waste sent for incineration.”

Source: birminghammail