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July 30, 2009
Media Statements and Backgrounder on resumption of City services
Statement on resumption of City services by City Manager, Joe Pennachetti

I am pleased that the City can today provide the public with information on the resumption of City services.

As you know, Local 79 has already ratified the agreement and Local 416 is conducting their ratification vote today. Our plans are based on Local 416 ratification of the agreement.

Services will begin coming back online at midnight tonight.

Our overnight operations will begin ramping up immediately and our offices and service counters will be open tomorrow morning.

I can tell you that the members of the Toronto Public Service are looking forward to getting back to their work and serving the people of Toronto.

As City Manager, I want everyone to know, that our workers care a great deal about the work they do and the people they serve.

In spite of the fact that we have all been through a very difficult strike I am confident that our staff will be back on the job and working hard at providing the services on which all of our residents rely.

The resumption of services that will begin tomorrow and continue over the weekend and into next week will cover many services, including:

* opening the City's employment and social services offices
* opening the City's parks, pools, forestry and recreation programs
* resumption of public health services
* resumption of municipal licensing and standards which includes issuance of city permits and inspections
* resuming housing and shelter programs, and;
* conducting development reviews, City planning and approvals, committee of adjustment hearings
* resuming garbage collection, blue and green bin programs

We expect that the City and the temporary drop off sites will be cleaned up by late Sunday night.

I want to note that I have directed that no overtime be authorized in the resumption of city services except for work required for health and safety reasons.

An important exception to this direction is for the work required to quickly clean out and restore the temporary drop off sites and comply with the environmental certificates of approval that the City has for these sites.

I have also authorized overtime for the cleaning up of the City to ensure that our streets are quickly cleaned and garbage removed.

I have also directed staff to expedite the speedy restoration of service to the island ferry to permit tourists and residents to visit the island on the weekend.

The overtime the City authorizes for its workers is far less expensive than the use of outside contractors as the City makes use of its own equipment when doing this work and therefore the costs incurred are less than if we were to use outside services.

Restricting overtime during this period will mean that some services and programs may take a little longer to bring back and that backlogs of requests may take longer to clear; but limiting overtime is required to control costs.

It will take a period of time for our programs to get back to regular levels and our facilities and equipment to be brought back into service.

The City is posting its detailed plan on our website at so residents and businesses will have a clear understanding on how soon specific services will be available. The website will be updated throughout the week as new information becomes available so I encourage people to continue checking for the latest updates.

Residents and businesses may continue to call or email Access Toronto 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 416-338-0338 /( for further assistance.

As this difficult period now begins to come to an end I want to give a special public thanks to the City's non-union and management staff that supported the City and its residents and businesses throughout the strike.

This group of employees have made significant sacrifices in terms of missed time with their families, cancelling vacations and working long, long hours to ensure many of the services that we rely on could continue.

These staff were called upon to work in circumstances that few of us have experienced, or will ever experience in our lives.

I want to ensure this especially dedicated group of staff know that they have my thanks and that of the public we serve.

I have received numerous e-mails of thanks from residents complimenting our staff's consideration, customer service and professionalism under trying circumstances.

This group of staff will always have my personal gratitude for the work they have done over the past several weeks.

Finally, I want to extend my sincere thanks to the City's Chief Negotiator and Executive Director of Human Resources, Bruce Anderson and to Jim Vair the City's lead negotiator with CUPE Local 79 and to Bruce's entire team for working for months to secure the agreements we have achieved. The City's Labour Relations group truly reflects the principles of Service, Stewardship and Commitment that are the values of Toronto's public service

Thank you.

Media contact:
Kevin Sack,
Director, Strategic Communications, City of Toronto
Media line 416-338-7768


Statement on resumption of regular City solid waste services, General Manager, Solid Waste, Geoff Rathbone.

I'd like to address the resumption of regular solid waste management services and the clean-up of the 26 temporary garbage drop-off sites.

As you can imagine, cleaning up the city will be a large and complex operation. As part of our negotiated back-to-work protocol, we will commence work tomorrow morning by starting the process of emptying and returning to service the City's 5,000 street litter bins.

Should City Council approve the new CUPE collective agreements, we will immediately initiate clean-up of the 26 garbage drop-off sites containing roughly 25,000 tonnes of garbage. Our goals are to:
* complete the removal of waste from the sites by late Sunday night
* allow for sites to return to normal operations
* support Caribana by quickly cleaning the sites on Lake shore Blvd.;
* meet our Ministry of Environment Certificate of Approval requirements and observe environmental best practices throughout the clean-up; and
* Be able to return our crews to curb-side collection of waste, green bin and recycling materials on the first regular collection day following City Council ratification i.e. Tuesday, August 4.

The clean-up will be round-the-clock, City-wide operation. We will utilize all available equipment from Solid Waste, Transportation Services and Toronto Water, and City crews will be supplemented by contract operators where necessary.

Clean-up of all the sites will entail:
* removing the waste
* sweeping and flushing the sites
* collecting and disposing of all collected wastewater
* final site remediation; for example, painting and sod replacement

We will release a schedule of site clean-up tomorrow.

For the City's residential and yellow bag customers, services will resume next week. The most important message for householders is to follow their collection calendar for both their day and type of pick-up. If you are scheduled for recycling pick-up next week, please do not put out garbage or vice-versa.

For those residents who have to wait another week or more for garbage collection, we are keeping all temporary drop-off sites and transfer stations open tomorrow (Friday, July 31) until 7 p.m.

In addition, on Saturday, five sites will remain open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. All other temporary sites and transfer stations will be closed. Transfer stations will re-open for regular business on August 4. The five sites that will remain open while the site clean-up is underway are Carnegie Centennial Arena, Villiers Street, Centennial Arena Community Centre, Wilket Creek and Scarborough Arena.

For the first four weeks of regular curb-side collection, householders will be able to put out unlimited waste or recycling; that is for two garbage pick-ups and two recycling pick-ups. No yellow tags will be needed for overflow garbage. Extra recycling should be placed in clear plastic bags. This will be in effect for four weeks only following service resumption.

On your scheduled pick-up day, please leave materials at the curb until collected. Crews may be delayed in finishing their routes.

For leaf and yard waste, in Etobicoke only, collection will begin the week of August 4. For the rest of city, yard waste collection will begin the week of August 18. As with other materials, please check your collection calendar and follow your scheduled pick-up day.

Apartment buildings and condominiums will receive regular, scheduled collection starting next week as will commercial yellow bag customers.

More details regarding Solid Waste Management services can be found on the City website.

Return to services backgrounder:

Media contact: City of Toronto Media Relations line during the labour disruption - 416-338-7768
Public information: Call Access Toronto, seven days a week, 24 hours at day, at 416-338-0338 or email



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