Environmental services company Newalta Corp. is suing the British Columbia Used Oil Management Association (BCOUMA) over the latter organization’s refusal to pay handling fees to Newalta for the collection of used oil in B.C. amounting to $86,245.
In its Statement of Claim, Newalta — the largest used-oil recycler in Western Canada — describes the system in B.C. that BCOUMA administers in which private sector collectors are paid a Return Incentive (RI) and processors are paid an Infrastructure Development Incentive (IDI) to collect and process used oil, containers and oil filters (to keep them out of the environment). Both the RI and IDI are funded via an Environmental Handling Charge (EHC) which applies to most sales of new lubricating oil, oil containers and oil filters.
In a letter dated October 14, 2005, Newalta demanded payment from BCOUMA of $84,245.48, which the organization refused on November 3. In its Statement of Defence, BCOUMA argues that Newalta failed to properly follow BCOUMA’s policies and procedures with respect to submitting invoices to the organization within a specified time period (i.e., within 100 days, or within that time frame plus an 80 day extension available through application and the filling-in of special forms).
People close to Newalta say the company feels that BCOUMA is using paperwork technicalities to hassle the company, which has opposed the setting-up of agencies to administer the collection of used oil in the past. Arguments from Newalta and Safety-Kleen were successful recently in Ontario, which has acknowledged the efficiency of the existing private-sector used-oil collection and processing system in that province. BCOUMA is arguing that Newalta has fallen short of the administrative requirements for reimbursements.
The judge will rule on the merits of the action, and the outcome will be reported on this website and in Solid Waste & Recycling magazine.