09/13/2012 09:26 EDT | Updated 11/13/2012 05:12 EST

6,500 complaints about garbage pickup

The city has received 6,500 complaints about garbage collection since the private company Green For Life took over the service a month ago.

City staff say most of the calls came in the first few weeks and that garbage pickup is now on par with the rest of the city.

But some west end residents like Natalie Kemerer say there is still room for improvement.

She was woken by a garbage truck outside her Parkdale home in the middle of the night.

Kemerer says the private trucks sometimes return at night for garbage if residents complain they missed a pickup.

"It's very strange that if you miss someone's bin — and there's a complaint — you come back at two in the morning, on a quiet residential street, to pick it up," she said.

Toronto's solid waste manager Jim Harnum, admits the area west of Yonge Street averaged 350 calls a day when Green for Life first started collecting garbage but "each week we've gotten substantially better."

Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong, who chairs the public works committee, says the city warned Green for Life. "We impressed upon them the need to pull up their boots and if they didn't we were prepared to assess fines," he said.

City staff will release a quarterly report on Green For Life's performance early next year.