Garbage companies fight turf war, legal battle

Two waste disposal and recycling companies have filed suit against each other in BC Supreme Court in an apparent turf war over clientele.

Two waste disposal and recycling companies have filed suit against each other in BC Supreme Court in an apparent turf war over clientele.

Surrey-based Northwest Waste Solutions Inc.’s November 20 suit names Housewise Construction Ltd. doing business as Segal Disposal, also of Surrey.

The suit alleges that Segal has approached Northwest’s customers to induce them to leave Northwest for Segal. It alleges that Segal has provided the customers with a form letter to send Northwest, giving Northwest 14 days to remove its bin or have it removed. The suit alleges that a number of bins were removed and that Northwest received a letter from Segal confirming that the rival company had the bins and demanding a payment of “significant funds” for the bins’ release.

Northwest is seeking damages for “wrongful conversion” of its bins and unlawful interference with the plaintiff’s economic relations, plus injunctions requiring the return of the bins and restraining Segal from taking any others or soliciting the plaintiff’s clients.

In a response filed November 20, Segal denied approaching Northwest’s customers to induce them to breach their agreements with the plaintiff. Segal alleged that it had removed Northwest’s containers only at customers’ requests, and claimed that Northwest had also removed many of Segal’s bins and held them. Segal contended that the two companies had agreed in July to an exchange of each other’s bins, but that Northwest backed out before the exchange took place.

Segal’s response asked that Northwest’s suit be dismissed with costs.

Segal also filed a counterclaim November 20, alleging that Northwest has been soliciting Segal’s customers, taking Segal’s bins, and charging “storage” fees for them. It argues that Northwest backed out of a bin exchange, and that Northwest reported the purported theft of its bins by Segal to the RCMP in a bid to dodge paying storage fees to Segal.

Segal is seeking damages for unlawful interference with its economic relations; storage fees for Northwest’s containers or damages for Northwest “wrongfully and without juristic reason” charging storage fees; and injunctions.

None of these allegations has been proven in court.

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