Albertans recycle 100 million tires

LETHBRIDGE, AB, Sept. 9, 2016 /CNW/ - Alberta's tire recycling program has reached a significant milestone.  One hundred million tires have been recycled since the program's inception in 1992.

"This achievement shows Albertans' commitment to protecting the environment is stronger than ever," said Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks. "It means that in every community there is a determination to do the right thing. Through Alberta's tire recycling program, valuable material is diverted from landfills and recycled, creating jobs and new products that come back full-circle into our communities." 

Alberta has one of the first tire recycling programs in Canada. It is very successful, with approximately six million tires recycled annually.

"Albertans, municipalities, tire and vehicle retailers and the province's recycling industry should be proud of this achievement and their contribution to eliminating tires from landfills and stockpiles. They have all played a key role in having those 100 million tires recycled into products such as sidewalk blocks, roofing tiles and playground surfaces," said Bob Barss, Chairman of Alberta Recycling.

There are 350 collection sites across the province set up by urban and rural municipalities and First Nations and Metis Settlements that accept tires for recycling. Since 2000, Alberta Recycling's municipal grant programs have provided over $12 million to communities.

The recycling of 100 million tires was celebrated in Lethbridge today at the grand opening of the new playground at Gilbert Paterson Middle School which was attended by Minister Phillips, MLA for Lethbridge-West, and Lethbridge-East MLA Maria Fitzpatrick, as well as other local dignitaries.

Rubber crumb made from scrap tires was used for the playground surface, a decision that Rebecca Ash, President of the Gilbert Paterson Tiger Society, said was easy to make. "Our society is so happy with the playground design and the use of rubber crumb. We now have a fully accessible and safe place for not only our middle school students, but the entire community to enjoy."

Backgrounder - Tire Recycling in Alberta

Tire Recycling

  • Over 100 million tires have been recycled in the province since the program began in 1992.
  • Albertans recycle six million tires annually.
  • Many innovative Alberta companies are currently manufacturing a variety of recycled tire products including:
      • rubber crumb for sports fields, playgrounds and pour-in-place athletic surfacing
      • bricks
      • sidewalk blocks
      • planters
      • box liners
      • rig mats
      • agricultural dairy mats
      • roofing tiles
  • With the elimination of stockpiles and tires in landfills, potential fire and environmental hazards have disappeared as well.
  • Environmental fees range from $4 on car and light truck tires to $9 on large truck tires, and up to $200 for large industrial tires. The fees are collected on the sale of new tires. The funds are used to manage the provincial tire recycling program, with almost 85% used to help collect the tires from every part of Alberta and process them into recycled tire material and products.
  • It is hard to imagine what 100 million tires means. Laid side-by-side, 100 million tires would circle the earth two times, which is equivalent to about 80,000 km.
  • 100 million tires weigh about 1,000,000 tonnes, which is the same as 200,000 elephants (five tonnes) or 2 million horses (500kg).

Alberta Recycling Management Authority

  • The Alberta Recycling Management Authority is a not-for-profit association responsible for managing Alberta's tire, electronics and paint recycling programs. The association reports to the Minister of Environment and Parks, and is run by a Board of Directors representing many stakeholder groups.
  • Originally established in 1992 to manage the province's tire recycling program, Alberta Recycling has since evolved to manage recycling programs for tires, electronics and paint. Each program operates under separate divisions and is funded through the collection of environmental fees that are applied to the sale of eligible products such as new tires, TVs, computers and paint products.
  • Alberta Recycling's Board of Directors is composed of representatives from stakeholder organizations involved in the recycling of scrap tires, including government, tire retailers, urban and rural municipalities, environmental organizations, industry organizations and the general public.

Backgrounder – Gilbert Paterson Middle School Playground

  • The recently completed playground was built by the Gilbert Paterson Tiger Society.
  • The Gilbert Paterson Tiger Society's mission is to provide an environment to develop active and creative minds. In order to help all children succeed, the society stresses the total development of children intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically.
  • The playground includes two large climbing nets, a 20-foot zipline and two saucer swings, all designed for older children from the middle school. It also includes a smaller structure for young children so the entire community can enjoy the playground.
  • The total cost of the playground was approximately $370,000 and was paid for through fundraising, grants and donations.
  • The playground 'build' took three days and was done with the help of 40 volunteers each day.
  • Students at Gilbert Paterson Middle School were asked to draw pictures of their "dream equipment" for the playground and much of that was incorporated into the design.
  • About 100,000 pounds of rubber crumb, equating to 7,560 scrap tires, was used for the playground surface.
  • Rubber crumb was chosen for the surface to make it safe and accessible for all users.


SOURCE Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA)

For further information: Kyle Ferguson, Press Secretary, Environment and Parks, 780-217-3909; Elizabeth Gray, Public Information Manager, Alberta Recycling, 780-415-8362; Rebecca Ash, President, Gilbert Paterson Tiger Society, 403-308-9876


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Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA)

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