Waste War: the fight over trash and recycling

"All I ever wanted to do was recycle," says Peter Van der Linde, who opened a state-of-the-art Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Zion Crossroads in 2009. The 100,000 square-foot facility uses high-tech machines and manual labor to sort through trash and recycling, and since opening it has transformed the local trash business–and  "upset the status quo" in the area trash business.

In addition to being sued by the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority, his facility has been vandalized, he was blackmailed, and corporate haulers in the area have fought to close him down.

"People were trying to use our agency to irritate Mr. Van der Linde," said Valley Department of Environmental Quality Waste Manager Graham Simmerman, who was in charge of issuing Van der Linde's DEQ permits for both his construction and demolition and household trash recycling operations. According to Simmerman, numerous anonymous complaints were made about Van der Linde’s facility, starting from the day he broke ground, all of them unfounded. Simmerman called the anonymous complaints “extremely frustrating” because his agency had to diligently investigate each one.

Simmerman, who calls Van der Linde's facility "the cleanest in the region," said he suspected the calls were from 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/Allied Waste/Republic Services."


Battle of the noodle: Allied heats up recycling rhetoric against Van der LindePublished on May 2nd, 2012For several years now, Allied Waste, which is owned by mega-waste company Republic Services, has been largely silent while Van der Linde Recycling (VDLR) steals all the local...read more
Waste War II? Van der Linde Recycling boldly attackedPublished on Jun 2nd, 2011After fending off a former employee-turned-extortionist, a $20 million government-filed RICO lawsuit, and dozens of bogus complaints filed with the Virginia Department of...read more
Timely disposal: City dumps RSWA for Van der LindePublished on Jun 30th, 2010Van der Linde's recycling facility(surrounding the holding pond) is permitted to handle 1,000 tons of trash a day. The RSWA's Ivy transfer station: 150 tons a day PHOTO BY...read more
Freed Van der Linde: Govt drops suit against recyclerPublished on Jan 20th, 2010The board met for over an hour at 7:30am and reconvened at 6pm on Wednesday to hammer out settlement terms. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER Amid a succession of public relations...read more
Waste Authority says: Lawsuit ends when Van der Linde paysPublished on Dec 17th, 2009"He certainly was aware that the service contribution existed," Brown said Thursday. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER In its first meeting since its star witness was convicted and...read more
Jury verdict: RSWA's star witness convicted of attempted extortionPublished on Dec 10th, 2009Minutes before a jury found him guilty of attempted extortion, Richard Wade Kendrick, with family members behind him, waits for the verdict. PHOTO BY DAVE MCNAIR A...read more
COVER- Tipping Point: Is Van der Linde laying waste to Waste Authority?Published on Dec 3rd, 2009  Why is this man smiling? Because he's trash hauler Boyd McCauley, and the "landfill of the future" just opened for business. PHOTO BY DAVE MCNAIR Last week, trash...read more
Trash talkin': Waste war could decide the futurePublished on Aug 17th, 2009Peter Van der Linde's Zion Crossroads recycling facility, one of the main reasons the RSWA has experienced a 20 percent drop in revenues. FILE PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO As the...read more
Don Van der Linde? Wasteworks whacks recycler with RICOPublished on Aug 17th, 2009"It's a legal terrorist tactic," says Peter Van der Linde of the RSWA's decision to use RICO. FILE PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO Just when we thought it couldn't�  "It's a...read more
Recycle this! Van der Linde steps up tonePublished on May 29th, 2009Capturing the market: Peter Van der Linde's recycling facility, which opened last December, is already handling over 250 tons of trash a day. FILE PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO...read more