The proposed reform of waste collection policy was again in the news today.
The Examiner has a funny story. The proposed reform would cut costs (5,000 people less on the payroll) and increase charges at the same time. The Times is more thoughtful, although it is still curious. In our textbooks, regulators fight against market power. Here, the regulator wants to establish private monopolies and the companies that would likely obtain those are dead against.
Mr Kells issues an implicit threat of court action. Presumably, the companies would argue that they have a customary right and reasonable expectation to compete in any waste collection market.
A lot of the fuss is due to poor communication. As far as I know, the department wants to sell waste collection concessions to the highest bidder, rather than take waste collection back into the public sector (as the private waste companies seem to think).
Here is one way to get around this. Instead of auctioning concessions, they could be grandfathered.
AFAIK, there are four private waste collection companies in DLR. Counting bins on my way to work, I guess that one company has 50% of the market, two have 20%, and one has 10%. DLR should thus be carved into 10 concessions, with 5 going to company A, 2 to companies B and C, and 1 to company D. In two years time, the first concession should be auctioned, the second one two months later, and so on.