After tens of thousands of complaints over a lack of garbage collection, the City of Oslo has cancelled its contract with a financially struggling private firm that proved unable to do the job. Now the city will take over the firm’s workers and fleet of trucks and resume the garbage collection itself.
The angry head of Oslo’s city government, Raymond Johansen of the Labour Party, claimed the contract with the “small and inexperienced” firm Veireno “never should have been entered into.” He blamed the former Conservatives-led city government for granting the contract purely because it had submitted the lowest bid and was thus the cheapest.
“We inherited a deal that couldn’t be carried out,” Johansen said. He claimed that garbage collection is one of the most critical, basic public services a city must provide and that’s why city officials had to step in. Veireno lacked both the experience and the manpower to assure reliable garbage collection, he said, and is now on the verge of bankruptcy. Not only did it fail to carry out its contract, it got into trouble with state labour officials because its employees were working much more overtime than the law allows, to respond to complaints.
The new city-run garbage collection is expected to cost taxpayers around NOK 40 million more per year than the Veireno contract, or around NOK 200 (USD 25) per household per year.