After 14 years at sea as a Merchant Marine Captain, in 1986 Peter van der Linde returned to Charlottesville and spent the next 30 years building homes. After creating a roll-off container rental business to supplement his own hauling needs as a contractor, he began to take a closer look at what was being thrown away. He knew he could do better than letting good building material go into a landfill. After much research van der Linde Recycling was born with the installation of the largest construction and demolition (C&D) separator that had been installed up to that time. The 70,000 sq. ft. C&D processing facility opened its doors in December of 2008, concurrent with the economic meltdown. Construction waste stopped. The timing couldn’t have been worse.
For those first several months, Pete scrambled to bring in sufficient material to keep the operation going. Almost immediately, he began the construction of another facility to receive co-mingled recyclables and Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) as an additional source of supply to meet his company’s needs. He also went into concrete crushing and wood grinding creating two new products: gravel and mulch. The diversification helped them while the C&D waste stream began to recover.
A year later, in Nov. 2009, the MSW facility opened. With ongoing awareness on the part of surrounding businesses and communities looking for a safe and reliable place to recycle their C&D and MSW, van der Linde was able to continue without interruption. Today they have a 50-50 intake of material, half C&D and half MSW. Right now they are averaging about 800 tons per day, 400 tons of each.
Never satisfied, Peter decided to invest an additional 6 million dollars into expanding the capabilities of the MSW facility. This included developing proprietary processes, adding additional mechanization to the sorting process and installing additional balers to increase our product marketability. He was recently a featured cover story in WHEN magazine because of the innovations he is making toward recycling.
Mr. van der Linde and van der Linde Recycling senior manager Andy Johnson spoke at the Wednesday March 9, 2016 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Past President Bob McGrath.