Public Sector Efficiency

Dave Killion — January 27, 2011

The curbs and gutters on my street are about 90% covered with leaves, twigs, and other detritus today, which is a little cleaner than it was before the street sweeper came through a couple of days ago. Considering my property taxes paid for someone to drive the sweeper all the way up and down the road, one might think having only one foot out of ten clean suggests a poor return on my investment, and I’d have to agree. Of course, 10% is about all you could really hope for, because there were a lot of cars parked on the road and the sweeper could hardly get to most of the curb. Two of those cars belonged to my family. I know, I know… why would someone park their car on a street when it is going to be swept? ¬†Because they don’t KNOW when its going to be swept! The city lets us know when the recycling will be picked up, and when the garbage is going to be picked up, but it seems the street sweepers schedule is a little too erratic to pass on to the public. ¬†It probably has something to do with efficiency. And so every six weeks or so, depending on the amount of litter, the government street sweeper very efficiently cleans 90% of the centre of the road TWICE, and very efficiently leaves 90% of the littler right where it is.

Just one more reason to privatize the neighbourhood.

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