Trashing ABQ’s Taxpayers

Las Vegas does it. So does Seattle. And San Francisco. Ditto Detroit.

But not Albuquerque.

The Duke City takes out its own trash. The Solid Waste Management Department (staff size: 461), not a contractor or contractors, provides garbage and recycling services.

In many other cities — small, medium, and large — waste firms compete to offer the best deal. As the industry notes, the benefits from contracting out can include cost savings, reduced risk, better safety, and higher efficiency.

The Foundation’s new analysis, “Fixing ABQ: Fiscal Policy,” recommends that the next mayor seriously explore competitive sourcing for trash. (Privatization of the city’s landfill, which has used less than a third of its capacity, is also worth exploring.) A recent success story in Fall River, Massachusetts could serve as a model. In 2016, Lizzie Borden’s home town considered three bids seeking to take over garbage collection from the Department of Community Maintenance. When the winner was picked and an agreement signed, Fall River’s mayor, a Democrat, called it an “exciting day for our city” and “another step towards more efficient government, cost reductions and, most importantly, savings to our taxpayers.”

“Fixing ABQ: Fiscal Policy” is loaded with other good ideas for smarter and smaller spending in New Mexico’s largest city. Download a copy today, and spread the word!

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