MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A new garbage company is taking away customers from County Waste, and a well-known housing developer is trying to stop them.
A trash turf war is pitting garbage giant County Waste against newcomer Twin Bridges, and it all started with a letter.
“It felt like he was trying to intimidate people into switching back to County Waste,” Jamie Nania, of Mechanicville, said.
When Nania brings her garbage barrel out to the curb, it stands apart from most of the others. She switched from County Waste about a month ago, and this week got a letter from Halfmoon builder Bruce Tanski that said in part “we strongly suggest you cancel service with Twin Bridges immediately.”
“It’s just my way of getting my point across because, you know, if you’re nice, people take that as a position of weakness,” Tanski said.
Tanski, of Bruce Tanski Construction & Development, is a major housing developer across the Capital Region. He grabbed headlines in 2015 after pleading guilty to trying to conceal political donations to Halfmoon Supervisor Mindy Wormuth.
Tanski said he gave County Waste permission to use his letterhead to send out to his developments.
“In this state with these laws, I probably broke some kind of a law,” he said. “I don’t know what is, but you know what, it is what it is.”
Tanski said he has a verbal agreement with County Waste and trusts them over Twin Bridges.
“We’re a small company,” Twin Bridges Waste & Recycling co-owner Joseph Puorro said. “We’re growing fast, and we keep hitting road blocks here and there.”
Puorro has only been in business about four months and was shocked when he heard about the letter.
“Sounds like he’s pushing people around,” Puorro said. “A lot of these people getting letters are not involved with him.”
That includes Nania, who said her house wasn’t built by Tanski.
“I can’t control that,” Tanski said. “It’s probably some secretary sitting in an office just like robocalls and sending them out all over the place.”
NEWS10 ABC reached out to County Waste but did not hear back.
The letter isn’t helping their case, said Nania, who called it a bullying tactic.
“He has no right to tell us who we can use for garbage pickup and who we can’t use,” she said.
Tanski maintains that homeowners have the right to choose whichever service they want, and the letters were merely suggestions.