By: Peter Jones
Principal Consultant at Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd
Myth takes – “Private bin collections would be cheaper”
You surprisingly often find newspaper stories bashing council waste collections and suggesting that it would be better, and perhaps even cheaper, for households to sort out their own waste collections privately. Having looked at what it costs councils to do the work, and some international comparisons, I'm confident that if there was competition in the market, householders would pay more, and unless the market was well regulated might end up recycling less. A monopoly, public interest provider is simply in the best place to deliver the most efficient collection rounds thanks to the really high collection density it gives them - whether they do so through their own staff, or a private contractor.
Have you seen this argument put forward? Do you think there are other good reasons, around freedom of choice or quality of service that might make it reasonable for people to want to pay extra for waste collections? Do you agree that buying in your bin service privately would be more expensive - or perhaps you might have experiences to share from countries such as Ireland that already have a private system in place. Interested to hear your thoughts.