To his credit, New West Councillor Jonathan Cote answers emails from citizens promptly. In response to my concerns about the switch to single stream recycling he said: The main reason I supported the proposal is that it would increase recycling rates and save the city $250,000 a year. Although there would be decreased revenue from recycled materials (because of contamination) but there would be lower cost because of fewer trucks and less staff..."
He asked me to elaborate on my concerns, so I said: my main concern is that we can't build a strong recycling industry with a collection system that degrades the quality of the materials.
As Clarissa Morawski reported in this excellent study of the impacts of single-stream recycling, the savings up front (to municipalities and the garbage companies) are offset by costs to manufacturers.
If cities and the garbage industry want to be part of the industrial system (and I am not at all convinced they belong there!) then they have to think of the health of the entire system, and not just their own costs.