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COVER- Tipping Point: Is Van der Linde laying waste to Waste Authority?

Published December 3, 2009 in issue 0848 of the Hook
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Why is this man smiling? Because he's trash hauler Boyd McCauley, and the "landfill of the future" just opened for business.

Last week, trash hauler and recycling entrepreneur Peter Van der Linde may have quietly destroyed the hold that his nemesis, the government-run Rivanna Solid Waste Authority, has had on area trash for nearly 20 years.


In the past, Authority director Tom Frederick, when responding to the drop in Authority revenues caused by the opening of Van der Linde's MRF, Materials Recovery Facility, has always defended the Authority's viability by pointing out that the RSWA-sponsored transfer stations accepted household trash, while Van der Linde's facility did not.

But all that changed last week.

After months of delays, which Van der Linde claims were caused by a campaign of harassment from the RSWA or its partners in trash, his facility was finally issued a state permit to accept household trash for recycling on Monday, November 23.

So what does this mean? As hundreds of Time Disposal Inc. customers learned last week, it means that recycling has now become as easy as, well, putting out the trash.


'It don't get no easier'

"Great news everyone," wrote Time Disposal owner Boyd McCauley in a recent customer newsletter. "We will now be taking recycling out of the regular trash. No need to sort." 

"Van der Linde has changed everything," McCauley says in an interview. "Even our customers who don't recycle are now recycling. It don't get no easier."

"Everybody is going to start going there," agrees Randy Dixon of Dixon's Trash Service, which also began taking all collected waste to Van der Linde last week.

"And everybody should," says Dixon. "Now, we finally have something that's real, and people will be able to recycle more materials, things they didn't even realize they could recycle."

As these haulers point out, Van der Linde has finally made it economically feasible to offer recycling services. Before last week, both haulers had to run separate trucks, but now their customers can simply put all their trash and recycling into one big bin.

The Ruckersville-based McCauley concedes that he burns more time and fuel to reach Van der Linde's facility, located in Zion Crossroads, but he says the lower tipping fees and elimination of two trucks makes it worthwhile-- not to mention the ease created for his customers.

Basically, McCauley and Dixon can now return to the business of collecting, and leave the sorting and recycling to Van der Linde. What's more, Van der Linde's facility gets rave reviews from state officials.


Unfounded complaints

"They are running the cleanest facility in our region," says Valley Department of Environmental Quality Waste Manager Graham Simmerman, who was in charge of issuing Van der Linde's DEQ permits. "So far," says Simmerman, "it's been the cleanest of all our permitted MRFs."

As Simmerman points out, it was no easy task getting permitted for household trash, and from now on, Van der Linde's facility will have to withstand unannounced quarterly inspections, just as if it were a landfill. In fact, Simmerman says DEQ inspectors sent a message by making a surprise visit to the facility just hours after it opened last week.

"We always show up unannounced," says Simmerman.

For a year, Van der Linde has been accepting construction and demolition debris and co-mingled recyclables, charging about a third less than Authority tipping fees, and essentially capturing the local market for such materials. 

As one trash hauler who began using the place in April put it, "I used to send the RSWA $10,000 to $15,000 a month. Now I send them barely anything at all." 

Indeed, according to the RSWA's latest financial report, tipping fee revenues decreased by $758,000 this year compared to last, a decline the Authority attributes to the economy, the construction slowdown, and the opening of Van der Linde's $11 million facility. 

Van der Linde says he began to wonder if opening day would ever come, as he spent the last three-and-half years focusing on the design/build phase, getting permitting, and fending off a $20 million RICO lawsuit against him by the aggrieved RSWA.

"Now I can finally focus on the marketing and daily operation of the facility," he says, "which is what I really like to do." 

Van der Linde, who blasts the lawsuit as a "vendetta," claims that he has endured a campaign of harassment from the RSWA or its local partners in trash, who he suspects of filing numerous anonymous complaints about his facility with the DEQ. 

Of course, that might sound like sour grapes, given his ongoing legal battle with the Authority, but the harassment was real.

"People were trying to use our agency to irritate Mr. Van der Linde," says the DEQ's Simmerman.

Even before Van der Linde had broken ground on the household waste expansion, Simmerman says, his office began receiving anonymous calls, complaints against the facility-- all of which, Simmerman says, turned out unfounded.

In fact, Simmerman says the DEQ has received more anonymous complaints about Van der Linde than any facility in the region, to the point that the agency-- required to investigate all tips--- became "extremely frustrated" by the calls.

"Some of our best tips are anonymous," says Simmerman, mentioning that several illegal dumping grounds have been discovered this way. "It's very unusual that we'll go out after these calls and find nothing wrong, but these calls about Van der Linde's facility were totally unfounded. It was a waste of our manpower."

Some complaints, says Simmerman, were about Van der Linde allegedly accepting household waste without a permit. Another, he says, was about a terrible odor coming from the facility; it turned out that the stench was emanating from next door-- at the RSWA-sponsored transfer station.

Although Simmerman says he can't prove the calls weren't from concerned citizens, he strongly suspects players in the trash business because Van der Linde's facility is "upsetting the status quo" by diverting waste "away from the RSWA and BFI."

BFI, acquired by Allied Waste and now owned by Republic Services, operates the RSWA-sponsored station in Zion Crossroads and professes ignorance of the anonymous calls, according to a statement by media relations manager Peg Mulloy, who urges that the lawsuit not be tried in the press.

Authority director Tom Frederick said he was "very surprised" to learn about the anonymous complaints. "I have nor reason to believe that anyone at RSWA was involved," says Frederick.

However, Simmerman reveals that RSWA officials made an inquiry about Van der Linde's operation as early as June of last year-- which he thought was odd because it was out of their jurisdiction-- asking when permits would be issued, what monthly tonnage rates would be, and whether Van der Linde had a solid waste management plan.

Fredrick confirms that an inquiry was made, but says it was simply public information they obtained for their own "planning purposes."

"It's appropriate for RSWA to make itself aware of the alternatives and resources available," says Frederick.  

 "In many ways, these complaints against Mr. Van der Linde's facility," says Simmerman, "have been a measure of its success."


Couldn't they see this coming?

Of course, anyone following Van der Linde's story could have guessed where this was going. 

"I think it's a powerful thing he's doing," said Alec Cargile, president of Lithic Construction, back in February. "If people start using his service," he noted, "it could have a huge impact on the whole county."

Yet, nearly two years later, and despite numerous offers from Van der Linde to work together, RSWA officials have refused to pursue a discussion. Strangely enough, they've been continuing to operate as if Van der Linde's transformative business model didn't exist.

Just recently, the Authority approved a $15,000 expenditure to hire a North Carolina-based consulting firm, O'Brien Environmental, to help draft a Request for Proposals to privatize the operation of the Ivy Transfer station, a plan that could take years to materialize and still result in a mere transfer station.

The Authority would lease the facility to someone willing to repair or replace its aging infrastructure and operate it for profit. However, some wonder how such a facility could make a profit without "flow control"-- a legal requirement that everyone send their trash there.

Indeed, why would any major trash hauler use an updated Ivy Transfer station, which would accept trash to be transferred to a MRF, when there is already an area MRF just a little more than 20 miles away that currently charges lower tipping fees? Also, since such a plan couldn't be realized for at least a year or more, how does the RSWA expect to continue operating now that Van der Linde has been permitted to accept all trash for recycling?

"Good questions," says County Supe Ken Boyd, who sits on the RSWA Board, "and why I am interested in what private sector solutions are out there. I think the public benefits by spirited competition in a free enterprise environment."

But wouldn't real competition involve not a transfer station but another MRF? At press time, Boyd had yet to respond to the follow-up question.

Authority director Frederick, presented with the same questions, provided a similar response to Boyd's. 

"Now that the RFP has been approved, I believe it best to let the private marketplace determine the outcome," says Frederick, "instead of speculating in advance."

Trash hauler McCauley says he no longer has any reason to use RSWA transfer stations, or even the Greene County landfill, now that Van der Linde accepts everything for a lower price.

Meanwhile, our elected officials have continued to commit taxpayer money to a government-run Waste Authority that is operating steadily deeper into the red and has yet to come up with a long-term plan for continuing to offer waste disposal and recycling services. In addition, elected officials have continued to voice support the RSWA's lawsuit against Van der Linde, in which they allege that he conspired to bilk the Authority out of more than $1 million in tipping fees before he opened his facility. The lawsuit has already cost the money-losing Authority $340,000 in legal fees with the trial date still at least six months away.

What's more, if the City of Charlottesville collects your trash and recycling, none of it will be making its way to Van der Lind's facility. That's because the city recently signed a five-year contract with Waste Management to collect household waste, which, under an agreement with the RSWA, must be taken to RSWA-sponsored stations. As for city curbside recycling, that's collected by Allied Waste/Republic Services, which isn't about to divert waste away from its Zion Crossroads transfer station.

In the County, Van der Linde hopes that public pressure, especially from neighborhood associations wanting to know their trash is getting recycled, might encourage these two companies to start using his facility, but he's not holding his breath.


A 'disgusting,' 'frivolous' lawsuit

Meanwhile, criticism of the lawsuit, and the Authority's handling of waste and recycling services, has come from across the political spectrum. 

"If this doesn't bother you, nothing will," declared former Republican City Councilor Rob Schilling on his WINA radio program, saying he was "disgusted" by the Authority's legal action against Van der Linde. "It's wrong in every single way."

"It's an attack on a private citizen, funded by tax-payer money," intoned Schilling-- who even began making and marketing "Dump RSWA" bumper stickers. Schilling calls the lawsuit "frivolous" and challenges his listeners to press city and county officials to "lay the heck off."

In addition, recently elected Democratic City Councilor Kristen Szakos and defeated Independent candidate Bob Fenwick, who demanded that the lawsuit be "repudiated" during his campaign, have also questioned the lawsuit. 

Szakos, who says that her father-in-law was a private trash hauler pushed out of business by city government in Pennsylvania, tells the Hook that she is "very concerned" about the way Van der Linde has been treated.

"His innovative, comprehensive approach to recycling is just the sort of thing we should be encouraging, not crushing," she says.

At a November 2 City Council meeting, the chair of the RSWA's own Citizen's Advisory Board, Jeff Greer, had complaints, telling Councilors that "nothing" has been achieved during the two years the Authority has been discussing its "strategic plan" for continuing to offer waste disposal and recycling services. 

What sense did it make, Greer asked Council, in light of the major role that Van der Linde's new facility could play in the area, for the RSWA to continue pursuing its lawsuit, what Greer called an "unproductive dispute" that makes it appear that "our public officials are blocking a positive private initiative in favor of a vested interest in a system that is failing."

Clearly, Greer's comments put City Councilor David Brown, who sits on the RSWA Board, on the spot, but Brown doesn't seem to be budging from his position in support of the lawsuit. 

There remains a "compelling argument" that Van der Linde "intentionally evaded" the RSWA's service contribution fee "to the tune of a million dollars," said Brown.

 "I don't think we should wipe the slate clean if he intentionally evaded paying the fee," said Brown, who acknowledged that he thought the fee system was a "funny mechanism" that was indeed unfair to haulers like Van der Linde, but that it was the "rules of the game." 


RSWA responds

For nearly two years, insisting that it was not "appropriate" to debate the case in the press, the Authority has remained largely silent on its lawsuit, but the debate appears to have finally chased the Authority from its legal foxhole.

"When the public only hears one side of the issue," wrote Frederick in a recent memo to his board, "they may not understand the purpose of the litigation. There is a very simple and fair question that should be answered by citizens and talk-show hosts who are defending Mr. Van der Linde. Is it okay for a business to not pay a lawful fee and let the resulting shortfall of revenues fall upon the taxpayer?"

According to Frederick, after the RSWA's "service contribution fee" system was finally implemented in 2005 (more about that later), Authority officials began noticing sharp drops in the amount of area trash that Van der Linde was declaring at the RSWA-sponsored transfer station at Zion Crossroads, as reported by BFI/Republic Services, a development that Frederick characterizes as a smoking gun.

"During one twelve-month period from September 2006 through August 2007, Mr. Van der Linde's companies declared zero tons from Albemarle/Charlottesville," says Frederick, "a period within which there are multiple photographic records" of Van der Linde's orange dumpsters in the area.

At the time, Frederick had his recycling manager, Bruce Edmonds, tracking and photographing Van der Linde's containers. In the county, development director Mark Graham had instructed his building inspectors to keep track of the distinctive dumpsters.

"They might think I'm a criminal, but do they think I'm stupid?" responds Van der Linde. "Do they really think I would declare zero trash for a whole year, with my glow-in-the-dark orange containers everywhere, and think I could get away with it?

"Yeah," he says with obvious sarcasm, "that's a brilliant plan."

Van der Linde claims that several area haulers, as well as three BFI employees, will testify that BFI never fully enforced the RSWA's fee system, and that his company is being unfairly singled out when RSWA fees went uncollected from many other haulers due to alleged BFI negligence.

What's more, Van der Linde says the Authority is relying on records from a company with a record of not keeping records. Indeed, according to documents obtained by the Hook, the Authority's own documents concede that the Authority discovered in 2005 that BFI managers were "completely unaware" of their contractual obligation to collect the RSWA fee. 


Several haulers

The situation prompted the Authority to threaten legal action against BFI if the company didn't start asking haulers and correctly tallying where trash originated.

None of this is mentioned in the Authority's complaint. In fact, BFI manager Eddie Scheider is quoted from a September 2005 letter saying that the company "relied on the honesty and integrity" of the haulers. "As we can now determine," says Scheider, "that has not been the case with several haulers." 

Several haulers? All along, Van der Linde has wondered why he was singled out for a lawsuit and suggests that the allegedly mismanaged agreement between the RSWA and BFI between 1997 and 2005 likely denied tax payers far more money than the Authority alleges he owes. Frederick was recently asked why no other haulers were sued, if, as Scheider says, there were several being dishonest, but Frederick did not respond.

Van der Linde says that BFI began enforcing the fee system only after the RSWA threatened legal action in 2005, an action that enraged haulers, who saw their per ton fee literally jump $16 overnight.

"I find it totally outrageous that you send an invoice," wrote Robert Bobbit of Culpeper-based Efficient Roll-Off & Recycling to RSWA officials, "that charges a 30 percent higher per ton rate and expect it to be processed without any notification."

The situation eventually prompted Van der Linde to file his own lawsuit in 2006, arguing that the Authority's fee system was unfair, not because of the added cost or lack of notification, but because it exempted transfer station operator BFI, a competing trash hauler, from paying the fee.

Van der Linde lost the case, and in its current RICO action, the Authority suggests that it was Van der Linde's failed lawsuit that motivated him to defraud the RSWA.


Right and wrong

"This case is about right and wrong," says Frederick. "Mr. Van der Linde knew the process of collecting the information. He said to Mr. McNair in the Hook article that he was 'saved' when BFI stopped asking the question. Even if you believe that BFI stopped asking the question, what was he 'saved' from? He was 'saved' from paying a fee he knew he had to pay."

Frederick writes of "lies of omission," but according to the complaint, one of Van der Linde's drivers, Richard Wayne Kendrick of Palmyra, has told RSWA lawyers that he was told to actively lie.

Kendrick, however, comes with some baggage of his own. Admitting to spending more than 20 years in jail, he was arrested in April after sending Van der Linde an alleged extortion letter demanding $90,000 or else he would tell RSWA officials he was told to lie. Kendrick is expected to defend himself at his trial in Fluvanna County Circuit Court on December 10.

Van der Linde doesn't deny knowing that he escaped the RSWA fee when BFI didn't ask, but he likens his situation to paying a restaurant tab when you know the waiter omitted the charge for an appetizer. BFI was under a contractual agreement to ask the question, he points out, whereas he was under no legal obligation to answer unasked questions.

One major problem for the Authority is that it has no way of figuring out exactly how much Van der Linde may have saved. As a result, it has demanded that Van der Linde figure it out and hand it the money, and the Authority has cited his refusal to do so as evidence of his wrongdoing. In response, Van der Linde insists that it isn't his job to help the RSWA manage, monitor or enforce its "faulty" fee system agreement with BFI. 

Several local business lawyers opined that evading a legally obligated fee may present legal difficulty for Van der Linde but that the Authority may have real difficulty going back and collecting a fee where it is their responsibility to charge and collect.


A single source

Still confused about who's at fault? You're not alone. However, one long-time local hauler has a theory.

"Van der Linde lied, and BFI did, too," says Randy Layman, who says he started the county's first "blue bag" recycling program over 20 years ago and served on the trash committee when the RSWA was created.

"It was," says Layman, "a don't ask, don't tell sort of thing."

As for the RSWA, which he says he knew was going to "get out of hand" when it was created, he claims they modified the agreement with BFI illegally.

"They didn't put it up for open bid. That was illegal," he says. "You've got to put it up for bid."

However, Authority director Frederick flatly disputes that, saying that the award of the contract to BFI on December 31, 1997 was based on an RFP for transfer station services that was put out on March 31, 1997.

Layman says he's also skeptical about commingled recycling, which he thinks a ploy to get customers. 

"They're telling people it's all getting recycled," he says, "but it's just getting all mashed up and contaminated."

A 2003 study by the city of Chula Vista, California showed that single stream programs have a higher contamination rate of recyclables, as much as five percent, than source-separated programs, but they add that recycling volumes typically increase by as much as 100 percent, diverting much more overall waste from landfills. 

So, will Van der Linde's MRF become our area's landfill of the future? Will the RSWA become obsolete before their lawsuit even gets to court? And who will win the lawsuit? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, Van der Linde appears to be the only true waste disposal game in town.


Last weekend alone, 40 tons of cardboard-- each bale shown here is a ton-- was pulled from the household waste stream at Van der Linde's MRF and baled for recycling.


Aluminum cans pulled from the household waste stream and baled for recycling.


Peter Van der Linde and his chief of operations, Michael Ledford, couldn't be happier to be awash in trash. On their first day last week collecting household trash for recycling, they processed 100 tons. "Isn't this stuff great?" says Van der Linde, pointing to a 15-foot high pile.

"Van der Linde has changed everything," says Time Disposal's Boyd McCauley. "Even our customers who don't recycle are now recycling. It don't get no easier."


Aluminum cans, number two plastic, newspaper, and cardboard pulled from the household waste stream at Van der Linde's MRF await to be bailed for recycling.


Time Disposal's McCauley says he's added many new customers since announcing his plans to use Van der Linde's MRF. Indeed, as this photo from local realtor Jim Duncan illustrates, residents of this Crozet neighborhood have recently made the switch, replacing their blue BFI bins for Time Disposal's green ones.


"This case is about right and wrong," says RSWA director Tom Frederick in a recent memo concerning their $20 million RICO lawsuit against recycler Peter Van der Linde, accusing him of "defrauding" the RSWA out of more than "a million dollars in tipping fees."


Van der Linde alleges that getting his recent permit to accept household trash for recycling from the DEQ was nearly derailed by a campaign of harassment from the RSWA or its partners in trash. Indeed, a DEQ official says they received more anonymous complaints about the facility than any other in the region, all of them unfounded.

Correction: The section header "RSWA responds" said "RWSA responds" in our print edition. (RWSA is a separate entity.) The error has been corrected in this online archive.



Recycler12/3/2009 9:05:11 AM

Please clue me in: David Brown supports the suit against Mr. Van der Linde, and says: "There remains a "compelling argument" that Van der Linde "intentionally evaded" the RSWA's service contribution fee "to the tune of a million dollars," So how much money did BFI evade paying RSWA, by either intentionally, or thru sloppy bookkeeping, failing to collect the fees. One source told me, they got more money, for themselves, by not collecting the RSWA fee, which didn't allow them to add on their own fees, so they stood to benefit, by not asking where the trash was from, and billing the haulers for trash outside the RSWA service area: that way they could make more money. If they weren't collecting the right amount from one hauler, then they weren't collecting it from any of them. This is a case of total mismanagement by BFI and RSWA knew it according to the document I read in this article.

Astounding, please tell me if I'm wrong, but looks clear to me, that BFI is the big fish that fleeced the tax payer. Now we're being fleeced by the lawyers.

Wrong suit, wrong guy, clearly not about fees, but about saving RSWA and putting Van der Linde out of business. And does anyone have any doubt whose responsible for harassing both Mr. Van der Linde and

the DEQ ?

If some heads at RSWA don't roll because of this, citizens should be outraged.

City Dweller12/3/2009 10:24:42 AM

City residents clearly need an alternative to our city trash services - a company that will recycle all our trash would be popular with city residents. Might be a good business opportunity for someone ...

Citizen12/3/2009 10:38:25 AM

According to this article didn't the City Council just approve a 5 year contract with Waste Management that mandates they use the RSWA managed Ivy landfill, and precludes recycling for City trash in our community ?

Jeff12/3/2009 11:18:35 AM

Anyone notice all the...leading to Frederick, bet as long as Frederick is around we'll see a mass exodus of all the best people in both RWSA and RSWA, who can find jobs elsewhere. One toxic leader can poison an entire organization --well known fact.

Concerned Troy Residents12/3/2009 3:43:41 PM

We were wondering why there have been less, big, noisy BFI and other contractor trucks traveling on Route 250, Fluvanna County, to and from Charlottesville? We thought it was because of the Thanksgiving Holiday but to our surprise, reading this aritcle, it is because of Van der Linde has finally opened the residential trash portion of his business. He is putting BFI out of business! We are happy about this because at least he had decency and respect for Fluvanna County citizens by banning all of his trucks from using Route 250 in Fluvanna. Apparently, they are now utiizing I-64 at Zions Crossroads or being put out of business. I have a feeling he is urging all trash haulers to use I-64 at Zions Crossroads because things are even quieter on Route 250 in Fluvanna County because of it. The only trash haulers we see are those that are picking up trash for Fluvanna County residents. Thank you Mr. Van der Linde! Thank you for letting residents bring their items to your facility. At least you are doing what you promised unlike BFI when they were approved years ago!

Downing Smith12/3/2009 4:30:39 PM

I am outraged that the City signed a 5 year deal with RSWA/BFI. Anyone responsible should be fired starting with the City Manager. If this was approved by City Council a recall should be started. The City Attorney should see if this is a done deal and if it isn't City Council should kill it. There should be an investigation to see if there has been any wrong doing. Not only will citizens pay more but it will cost the City more and do more harm to the environment. I am going to see if I can get a private trash service for my recycling and garbage. I am so p!@##$%$ off that I feel like driving to Zion Cross Roads with my garbage/recycling.

Business of Good12/3/2009 9:50:38 PM

Mr. van der Linde is in the business of good...recycling.

The allegations of RSWA predate the opening of his facility.

Should van der Linde get a free pass on fees he knowingly avoided, because he is a recycler?

Should a doctor get a pass on insurance fraud because he is in the business of saving lives?

I support recycling, but if he knowingly avoided fees, he caused the RSWA to make up shortfall from the taxpayer, as per the agreement with the city and county.

Each time he was "saved" it may have been at the expense of the taxpayer. At least if the allegations are true he used the loot to build a recycling facility instead of buying a yacht or jet plane.

If RSWA allegations are true, he had a huge competitive advantage over competition. Does van der Linde even have any competitors? Does anyone know if there are any other companies in the dumpster or recycling business?

Jeff12/3/2009 10:29:19 PM

Should BFI get a free pass for knowingly not collecting fees owed to RSWA and the taxpayers. They were the party RSWA contracted with to collect these fees, and who knows how much money, probably several million dollars, went unpaid. Why aren't they being sued ?

Business of Good12/3/2009 11:40:09 PM

BFI is being sued, as a third-party defendant in this case. BFI only "knew" what they were told, but apparently did not always ask.

Anyway, agree, they too should be sued for mot performing to contract specification.

(They should be asked to pay, if they don't want to part with some benjamins, sue 'em to pry the money from them).

cassandra12/4/2009 12:30:25 AM

Recycler, David Brown has demonstrated time and time again that he's not suited for the job of city councilor.

Downing Smith, the rest of our city council have demonstrated time and time again that they are not suited to the job of being city councilors.

The City Attorney only does as he's directed to do. Don't hold your breath waiting for an investigation either.

Think this is bad? Just wait until we've got a highway running right through the middle of town so people from Biscuit Run can get to 29 North. That's what the local Democratic Party seems to want and unthinking voters have have signed on. Time to start now if we want to elect an alternative in the next round.

Curious City Resident12/4/2009 12:46:03 AM

Does anyone know if it's allowable for city residents to hire private haulers? If so, then perhaps enough of us could start a route for a county private hauler that would make it worth their while to come into the city. I know many in my neighborhood would like that. What do you say, Downing? Or would the RWSA sue us all?

City Resident212/4/2009 7:09:46 AM

I love this idea. Instead of buying the garbage stickers, let's get as many people as possible, and organize our own trash service just like neighborhoods in the county. I want my trash recycled by Van der Linde and if the City doesn't want to support the environment then let's do it ourselves.

Jeff12/4/2009 7:18:01 AM

If BFI is being hit with a RICO suit, I sure haven't heard about it. BOD, where did you hear or read this ? They are clearly the responsible party in this, not the haulers, who weren't asked where their trash was from, and I'll bet in some cases paid more, rather than less, than the amount they should have. That place is a mess BFI, Allied, Republic, (whoever they now are) and if RSWA is upset then they should clean up their own house first.

In the city12/4/2009 9:29:53 AM

I live in the city, and use Dixons ($55/quarter). I'm in a newly built neighborhood on Cherry Ave., and the City's trucks wouldn't enter our neighborhood during the construction phase, so the developer arranged for Dixon's to do the trash (Time Disposal also serves our neighborhood). Construction has been done for over a year now, and nobody has kicked the private companies out. I am also aware of a number of houses in the Meadowbrook area that use private haulers. You should give the private guys a call and see if they'll come by. My guess is that they will. I'll never use the city service unless I have to, I hate those stupid stickers.

Curious City Resident12/4/2009 9:46:35 AM

$55/qtr is comparable to what I pay now with my yearly 33 gal sticker. Under our current city system we don't pay for recycling, so only have to buy stickers for the trash part of it. I'm assuming that with the private hauler you'd pay for the whole shebang-- recyclables and all. Interesting. Hope that if people start calling haulers, they'll report back here w/ pricing.

City Resident 312/4/2009 9:53:39 AM

Count me in I'm calling a private hauler today --no more city stickers for me and I'm going to make sure they take the trash to be recycled at Van der Linde. Will report back the price, I'll bet if we can organize a whole street or area the price can be negotiated down.

Newcomer12/4/2009 10:04:36 AM

I agree Mr. Smith, whoever inked this deal to prevent recycling our trash in our own community, at the Van der Linde, permitted, and highly regarded, state of the art facility, should be fired. Unfortunately, it is my understanding that the City Manager and one of the Councilors sits on the RSWA Board, so there is the conflict, and the city contract mandates the trash be taken to the RSWA run facility. And the lawsuit filed against Mr. Van der Linde was approved by the RSWA board, including these individuals and I believe the public works director, also.

It smells like Camelot is rotting.

Victoria Dunham12/4/2009 10:47:36 AM

I'm awaiting call backs from several companies. They mentioned that they are receiving many calls of interest!

Looks like if enough people are interested, it would be economically feasible for them to start running more trucks into Cville. This could be a great opportunity for private haulers to increase business during these tough economic times. I, for one, would be thrilled to keep my dollars LOCAL!

cityresident too12/4/2009 11:07:27 AM

I do know that several private haulers already pick up in the City. Call Time Disposal. I've toured the Van der Linde facility and it is fantastic and I agree with the DEQ, it is the poster child for how these facilities should be run. We should all support this recycling effort with our household trash.

Barrack12/4/2009 11:17:18 AM

This is wrong. The government should be running the trash service. Why would you trust private industry to do this? The private sector cannot do anything right. We can just tax the rich and get all your trash hauled away for free.

Free Enterprize doesn't work!

Socialized trash... with a public option..

Obama12/4/2009 11:24:18 AM

No you're wrong, I just signed the Schilling petition and I hope you do too ..oh and I just bought a bumper sticker for my hybrid vehicle.


Victoria Dunham12/4/2009 12:23:44 PM

Spoke with one of the owners, and they'll need volume to give competitive rates. So please call the local haulers to inquire about rates.

City Dweller12/4/2009 6:55:30 PM

Cost effective, innovative, Earth friendly...

Isn't that what we've been screaming for?

Let's have more of the same. CONGRATULATIONS!

BusinessMan12/4/2009 7:41:41 PM

The dinosaur will soon be extinct --citizens unite, sign up with a Van der Linde trash hauler today and let Waste Management get with the program, or go the way of outmoded business models.

Betty Mooney12/4/2009 9:56:15 PM

Downing I agree, if this agreement, to preclude the possibility of recycling at the Van der Linde facility, because of a 5 year contract with Waste Management, was signed without Council's knowledge, the City Manager should be fired immediately. I have talked to several former mayors and councilors today and they all felt a public hearing should have been held before reaching such an agreement. Why wasn't this done? We need to ask Council why this wasn't done, this Monday, at their regular meeting. Public comment starts at 7pm and you need to sign up early to get on the list ( 6:30pm). Council needs to hear from the public that we want our trash recycled at this first class facility, not dumped at a transfer station to be trucked to another community. RSWA is losing hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars --this must be stopped and our trash recycled.

In the city12/4/2009 10:07:27 PM

Paying $55/quarter for everything w/Dixons. Not sure how big my can is, but it's huge and we get 3 overflow bags/week. I assume Time Disposal is comparable, as my neighborhood is about 50/50 between the two companies.

Cville Eye12/4/2009 11:30:00 PM

cassandra doesn't lie.

Steve12/5/2009 8:47:45 AM

I don't understand why Waste Management can't use the Van der Linde recycling facility for our city trash. Can someone fill me in, please.

Closeing the Loop12/5/2009 1:44:26 PM

Commingling all trash and sorting it? My question is how effective is this with the truly tough stuff; eliminating; batteries, electronics (heavy metals), CFL's (mercury), paint, pesticides, and other undesirables from landfills? From my perspective, Charlottesville is light years ahead of other urban parts of the state, Richmond & Tidewater. It sounds good on the surface, if Vanderlinde can effectively close the loop on currently allowable, toxic disposal at reduced fees. If it sounds too good to be true, we all know, what they say about that type of situation. It’s certainly a step in the right direction, time will reveal if this system will live up to full potential.

Greenie12/5/2009 7:33:24 PM

Sure is better than what we have now, a transfer station that puts the stuff into trucks and dumps it in a hole in the ground, somewhere in the Richmond area. How " green " is that ?

Greenie12/5/2009 7:42:03 PM

To find out who the good guys are; click on the link at Van der Linde's web-site for

" preferred garbage haulers "

We could change the system ourselves, as suggested above, and sign on with these guys.


Monty12/5/2009 8:40:48 PM

van der Linde and Ledford look like Mr. Burns and Smithers.

Didn't Mr. Burns loose his fortune on an episode where he opened a recycling plant?

Monty12/5/2009 8:55:36 PM

"according to a statement by media relations manager Peg Mulloy"

Wow...the RSWA has a media relations manager.

I wonder if van der Linde has a media relations manager...No? So here is an exmaple of why its cheaper at van der Linde than RSWA.

I knew the county and city both have spokesperson positions not yet eliminated, but the RSWA has their own spokesperson? How much is there to say about garbage and sewage? Its trash and poop. Pretty much says it all, don't need a spokesperson.

Dave McNair12/6/2009 12:42:21 PM

Ms. Mulloy is the public relations manager for Republic Services, not RSWA.

Steve12/6/2009 1:04:44 PM

Isn't the city contract, if it mandates that Waste Management use the RSWA approved facility ( Republic Services) which does not recycle our trash, isn't that flow control ?

Betty Mooney12/6/2009 9:37:37 PM

The City contract with RSWA ends in June 2010, clearly this is a losing proposition for city residents and county also. Time to shut it down and take our trash to Van der Linde, who is offering a far " greener" solution to waste disposal, that will save us all money.

Why would our City Council enter into a 5 year contract with this money losing entity when in 6 months they can end this outmoded business model for waste disposal ?

Victoria Dunham12/7/2009 11:56:10 AM

Thus far, my conversations with the private haulers have been great. They're very responsive and offer impressive customer service. Please go the the Van der Linde website to get the names and numbers of private haulers and check out the rates for yourselves.

Dixon Disposal placed an ad in the local section of the DP today looking for new customers. I applaud their proactive attitude. They are family owned and operated and have been in business for 37 years. Dixon and Time are the sorts of local businesses we need to be supporting during these tough economic times.

I'm sending out the pricing info I get to my neighborhood association in the Woolen Mills so that they can be informed consumers as well. There are options, and we need to exercise them!

Betty12/7/2009 12:11:12 PM

Village Place, a neighborhood in the City, in the Cherry Ave. area, is not currently served by city trash services. One of the homeowners uses Dixon, and says, they are very reliable. They are pleased that their trash is being taken to the new Van der Linde recycling facility. The rest of their area uses Time Disposal and they are also given high marks. Let's not only support eat local, but dispose local, as well.

Recycler12/7/2009 10:54:48 PM

Dixon Disposal has a great add for trash service in today's Daily Progress.

Here it is :

" Dixon Trash Disposal is now offering trash service mixed with recycling

$19.00 per month ...first month free"

No separating or recycling bin needed --put all trash and recycling in the same trash can

( trash can is provided )

No more trips to McIntire Recycling Center

All trash and recycling will be taken to Van Der Linde Recycling in Troy,Va

Dall Dixon Trash Disposal 434-978-2111

or e-mail [email protected]

We will price match any competitors rates guaranteed with this ad "

Recycler12/7/2009 10:57:14 PM

Good-Bye RSWA

Betty Mooney12/8/2009 8:57:59 AM

Dave NcNair writes: "Couldn't they see this coming? "

What is going on that RSWA, after numerous offers from Mr. Van der Linde, is left in this position, losing hundreds of thousands of dollars, and trying to prevent Mr. Van der Linde from succeeding in offering this valuable service.

The city is also colluding in this by signing an agreement: that mandates that the hauler picking up City garbage, can only take it to the RSWA facility/BFI. This is a monopoly and is wrong on every count. Clearly the lawsuit is a total waste of money, time and moving toward a greener solution, which Council has expressed an interest in. We elected Council to represent the people, now they must take some action to correct this outrageous situation that harms not only Mr. Van der Linde, their citizens, but the DEQ as well.

Steve12/8/2009 12:35:25 PM

Will the true conservatives please stand up. I get so frustrated with the Tea Party crowd in Charlottesville: where are they when the RSWA tries to run a private business man out of town, and as they watch RSWA and RWSA squander millions of taxpayer dollars. How about the use of your money to harass a government agency (DEQ) does any of this upset you ?

Where is their man Ken Boyd who sits on the board of the RSWA.

Wake up guys; the city has already instituted flow control and talk about waste--don't you care ?????

Eddy1/1/2010 2:11:07 PM

Out of State concern Recycler/Hauler:

Being in the same business I have been keeping up with all the "TRASH TALK" no pun intend, regarding the Vanderlinde Recycling facility and to be honest I am completely in awe as to why the RSWA would fight saving our Mother Earth!! I work directly with my local City, County, EPA and Governor concerning recycling in my state, and to be honest I find this childish. All my innovative recycling ideas that are the same as Vanderlinde's are welcomed. I am encouraged by the above mentioned "and I quote" please give us competition. From what I have read there has been more taxpayers and DEQ time/money wasted than it would take to resolve the issue with the best interest of all involved. It is clear the DEQ has stated every complaint has been unfounded, keep crying wolf RSWA and see how long it will be tolerated.

There should be a meeting of minds involving

citizens/taxpayers/State to investigate and remove all elected/paid officials due to lack of the taxpayers best interest in mind, not to mention Global Warming, and force BFI/Republic to meet the same recycling standards as Vander Linde's within a certain time frame or contract with Vanderlinde, his system is working so why not take advantage of it. Who wants to be on a sinking boat when you can sail on a high tech Cruise liner.

Thank God I live in a State that promotes local, county, state and government body's to recycle and welcomes pioneers like Peter Vanderlinde and myself. As one reader stated he could have bought a yacht or jet and set back and relax, but he choose to make a difference, I am sure he did not need the money publicity and anguish he has had to endure.

Good luck and God bless you Mr. Vander Linde.

Kelly1/1/2010 3:38:57 PM

Eddy, you are right on . No one here understands what is happening in our community. We are greener than green, and win lots of awards, so the only explanation, I and those I know can come up with is, something corrupt is going on between BFI and RSWA. We've never seen this before in our town, so it is very disturbing to many of us, and even our elected officials, who profess to support recycling are supporting this suit. Very sad

Betty Mooney1/1/2010 8:46:11 PM

Eddy, It would be a great help to our community if you would contact our elected officials directly and convey this message.

You can reach them at these e-mail addresses:

[email protected] ( our City Council)

[email protected] ( our Board of Supervisors)

I applaud your efforts, and sincerely hope that our community will follow in your footsteps. Overwhelmingly, I have found the citizens to be against this lawsuit and in favor of co-operating with Van der Linde Recycling, to promote a " greener" trash solution for our area.

Eddy1/4/2010 1:04:27 PM

Betty & Kelly

I will be more than happy to contact the City and Board of Supervisors. As I said my City, County and State cannot believe what your are going thru, they would and have welcomed it with open arms.

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