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December 18, 2009

RSWA will review bids to privatize trash and recycling operations

Reader comments (0) DailyProgress By Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Friday, December 18, 2009

The Rivanna Solid Waste Authority board on Thursday approved a resolution indicating it will accept competitive bids to privatize operations at the Ivy Material Utilization Center and McIntire recycling facilities.

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Charlottesville City Councilor David Brown
The RSWA has said it needs to upgrade equipment at the Ivy facility if it is going to continue operating the trash transfer facility. A Charlottesville-Albemarle County agreement related to solid waste operations expires in June and some officials have recommended that, instead of renewing that agreement, local governments should privatize the operation.

In the public comment opportunity, former City Council candidate Bob Fenwick was one of three speakers who asked the board to drop a lawsuit against Peter van der Linde, who is operating a private solid waste and recycling facility in Zion Crossroads.

Officials have said the lawsuit and their interest in privatization are not related.

City Councilor David Brown responded to the public's comments and shared his rationale for supporting the van der Linde lawsuit.

"This case is Rivanna accusing Mr. van der Linde of fraud, and the fraud he is accused of is intentionally not paying as much as a million dollars in fees due to Rivanna," Brown said. "I would hope people aren't saying, 'That's OK. We don't really care what he did, he is doing such a good business now, that he is to be excused from that.'"

"Is there compelling evidence to support a lawsuit against Mr. van der Linde? In my opinion, there is," Brown said.

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Peter van der Linde
After listening to the statements from Brown, van der Linde said in an interview that the lawsuit was still unfounded.

"They got it wrong, 100 percent wrong," van der Linde said. "They are relying on information provided only by their counsel and have chosen to ignore information provided independently by [me]."

Van der Linde, who maintains he is being singled out in the lawsuit, said that he has provided the RSWA with all the information he has ever had concerning the records on service fees. He said the RSWA has not reciprocated to provide him information on their other trash customers.

"[The records] would allow me to establish with absolute certainty the widespread neglect of the collection of the fees from other haulers," van der Linde said. "I am innocent."

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