Candidates Andrew, Winton divided on allowing non-union trash collection

Minneapolis mayoral candidate Mark Andrew says the city is getting good service from its unionized trash collectors.

But one of his opponents, Cam Winton, argues Minneapolis could save money by allowing non-union companies to collect the city's trash.

Andrew says that's the wrong approach.

"I don't think that privatizing solid waste collection is a money-saver," Andrew said. "I think that there might be short-term gain, but long-term pain, because that's frequently what happens when basic services are contracted out."

Unionized city employees currently collect about half of the city's trash. The other half is collected by a consortium of private companies called MRI, which is also unionized. The Teamsters union, which represents MRI employees, has endorsed Andrew.

Winton said the DFLers who dominate Minneapolis politics favor union trash haulers for political reasons.

"Because the current city council and many of my opponents are part of this insider game of scratching each other's backs, they seem to have no problem prioritizing the interests of this special interest over the interests of the broad array of Minneapolis residents who may be paying too much to have their garbage taken away each month," Winton said.

Andrew is one of at least six DFLers running for Minneapolis mayor. Winton is one of three Republican-leaning independents. There will be no primary, because the city uses ranked-choice voting.

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