Newalta Sues Oil Recycling Group


Most everyone agrees recycling lubricants is a good idea, but even those involved in such efforts dont always get along.

Canadian recycler Newalta Corp. has sued the British Columbia Used Oil Management Association claiming the latter owes it $86,000 (U.S. $78,000) in handling fees for oil that it collected. Newalta and other collecting companies have also fought the formation of recycling programs like the one that BCUOMA administers.

Calgary-based Newalta is an environmental services provider which collects used lubricating oil and rerefines it at a plant in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The association is a nonprofit organization formed to encourage recycling of used lubricants, used oil filters and lubricant containers. Under the program it administers, lubricant and filter marketers are charged fees on products sold into British Columbia. The funds are then disbursed to businesses that collect the materials for recycling.

Newalta sued the association after it refused in November to pay $84,000 in handling fees that the company tried to bill, according to an article in the May 4 issue of Solid Waste and Recycling magazine. The magazine said BCUOMA refused to pay because it said Newalta did not comply with rules requiring invoices to be submitted within 100 days or within 180 days when an extension is approved.

Newalta could not be reached for comment yesterday, but the association confirmed that the lawsuit is still pending.

It is not even in dispute that Newalta did not file its invoices within the appropriate time-frame, Executive Director Ronald J. Driedger said. We just applied the same rules that every other company has to adhere to.

The Solid Waste and Recycling article suggested Newalta officials believe the association may be retaliating for the companys opposition to the establishment of programs like BCUOMAs. Driedger acknowledged that collection companies have opposed creation of programs, which are now in place in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec. A proposal to create a program for Ontario has also drawn opposition.

Driedger denied, however, that his group bears a grudge against Newalta.

The relationship we have with them is as good as one would expect us to have with any of our members, he said.

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