Verdun cancels garbage collection contract, accuses company of wrongdoing
Published Monday, March 19, 2018 12:51PM EDT
The borough of Verdun has cancelled its garbage collection contract and says the company was not behaving honestly, including billing Verdun for trash picked up in other boroughs and cities.
The borough began investigating SER Environment (Services Environnementaux Richelieu) after multiple complaints from citizens, with inspectors tracking the vehicles as they performed their routes.
According to the borough, those investigators discovered the company was picking up garbage on the South Shore and in other boroughs, but charged Verdun for the work.
The borough then handed what it had collected to the city's Inspector General, Denis Gallant, and his office to continue the work.
The Inspector General's Bureau, BIG, then analyzed GPS trackers that had been placed on garbage trucks much earlier in order to track the vehicles.
The bureau also demanded access to SER timesheets, and comparing them to the GPS information, discovered the vehicles and drivers were claiming to be in Verdun when the vehicles were actually elsewhere -- even though SER was charging Verdun for the work.
This weekend Verdun cancelled its contract with SER and borough mayor Jean-Francois Parenteau said he will issue a new call for tenders as quickly as possible.
"The company has an obligation to give services for the next 45 days and after that we will have a new contract in the next 45 days," said Parenteau.
Gallant has also informed the provincial government's anti-corruption squad, UPAC, of his findings, and contacted the province's financial authority (AMF) to see if the company should lose the right to bid on public contracts.
SER Environment has yet to respond to the allegations despite many attempts to contact anyone from the company.
SER has many garbage and trash collection contracts around Montreal and the surrounding area.