A new program just launched this month in Ontario. Previously when you purchased a new set of tires for your vehicle (on or off road) you had to pay a disposal fee for the old tires you were getting rid of. However, with the launch of the new Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) Program that is no longer necessary as long as your old tires are dropped off at a registered collector. Registered collectors can include tire retailers (maybe even the place you get your tires changed), municipalities and other registered drop off points. Under the new program residents of Ontario can drop off up to 4 used tires per person at no charge to be collected and recycled. I’m not sure yet if this is an annual limit, once every 2 years, 5 years, or a one time thing but it certainly seems like a good initiative. It would appear, however, and I don’t mean this in a bad way, that there is a new fee called the Tires Stewardship Fee (TSF), which is to be remitted to the OTS by Brand owners for every tire supplied into the Ontario market. If this is handled in a similar way to the electronics handling fee under the Waste Electrical & Electronics Equipment recycling program it is very possible that when you purchase a new set of tires, although there may no longer be a disposal fee, there may be a new TSF fee that is passed on to the consumer on the purchase of the new tires which helps fund the program that deals with recycling of old tires. I don’t know for sure how this will work but I’m making an assumption here that it might work similar to the WEEE program.
Currently, of the approximately 11-12 million scrap tires generated in Ontario annually, about 50% are sent to the US to be burned each year. Yep, burned. Under the new program this number should be significantly reduced and I would hope completely eliminated. In addition the program is intended to help eliminate the unauthorized disposal of old tires as people can drop them off free of charge. I for one would certainly prefer that people drop their tires off than throw them at the side of the road or try to dump them illegally and in an environmentally irresponsible way. In addition the used tire program is expected to inject about $23 million into the scrap tire recycling industry in the first year and hopefully help create new jobs and economic growth within the province.
What Are The Tires Used For?
Scrap tires can be used for many different things. Some of the recycled end uses include aggregates instead of stone, crumb rubber for use in sports fields, hockey rinks, quieter roads, and finished goods like floor mats, soaker hoses, mouse pads, and rubber components for car engines. You can imagine that this is just a very small list of possible uses of this recycled rubber so it can certainly be put to good use.
For more information about the program please visit the Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) website at: http://www.ontariots.ca/