RSWA Sues Local Recycler

There’s a strange ongoing saga between the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority and local recycling facility operator Peter van der Linde that I haven’t written about here simply because it’s too confusing to be summed up in a couple of paragraphs. But I’ll take a stab at it here.

Back in April, Dave McNair wrote a long feature about the local man’s Zion Crossroads facility, which is a state-of-the-art, single-stream, mechanical sorting recycling operation. It’s a natural addition to the 800 dumpsters that the home builder rents out throughout the region. He’s long hauled waste to Allied’s Zion Crossroads waste transfer station, where he pays to deposit the contents of those dumpsters, so it’s logical that he’d want to recover some of that money by recycling the waste and turning it into valuable scrap. Somewhere along the way, the RSWA started charging a $16/ton service fee to everybody other than Allied to dump their Albemarle-originating waste at Allied’s facility, which haulers aren’t happy about, because they can’t see what the RSWA has to do with it, and also because they figure it gives Allied an upper hand. (Waste from outside Albemarle is $34/ton.)

Now the RSWA has filed a lawsuit against Van der Linde, alleging that he’s had his haulers lie routinely, claiming to be hauling trash from outside Albemarle, thus depriving them of an unknown quantity of money. Van der Linde counters that it wouldn’t make any sense to lie, because then he’d have to pay more, and he also claims to have surveillance video showing that his guys routinely weren’t even asked where their load originated. He says that this is really about the RSWA trying to shut him down because he’s getting all of the waste business at his facility, which charges less, thus ending their monopoly. In a statement, the RSWA denies it, saying that they’re simply trying to claim money that he owes them.

If you’re confused, Tasha Kates sums all of this up in today’s Daily Progress. I know I’m puzzled. It just doesn’t make any sense for the RSWA to sue over getting too much money. I must be missing something.

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