Michael Scott is CEO of Waste Diversion Ontario (www.wdo.ca), which oversees Ontario's recycling programs for electrical and
electronic equipment, used tires, Blue Box material, and household
hazardous waste. As part of its oversight role, WDO monitors these
programs to ensure they are fully funded by the producers of the
materials being diverted from our landfills.
TORONTO, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Lately there has been some discussion
about tire recycling and the costs associated with the responsible
recycling of old tires, specifically the large tires used in the
agricultural, mining and forestry industries.
These discussions will no doubt continue in the weeks ahead,
particularly because the cost to recycle many types of tires is
As this continues to unfold, let's try to keep in mind some important
First, under the leadership and management of Ontario Tire Stewardship
(OTS), the organization established to manage the recycling of our used
tires, Ontario's tire recycling program has been a resounding success (www.RethinkTires.ca). No longer do we see tires thrown into ditches along our roads. In the
four years since this program began, OTS has recycled over 50 million
old tires. That's 50 million tires no longer going into our landfills.
Today, over 95 percent of Ontario's used tires are recycled, many into
useful products like roof shingles, traffic cone bases, playground
safety tiles, and the rubber pavement in hockey arenas. Just by using
shingles made from recycled tires on a typical roof, 64 tires are kept
out of landfill. And Ontario is the only province in Canada that
recycles a full range of tires, including the larger and heavier ones
used in the agricultural, construction, mining and forestry sectors.
Second, let's remember who pays for this recycling. Simply put, the
manufacturers and importers of new tires pay these costs. The recycling
program that OTS manages is paid for by people who manufacture and
supply Ontarians with tires. Long ago, everyone agreed, including the
tire manufacturers, that those who produce the tires should be
responsible for paying the full cost of recycling them.
This leads to my third point, and here's the scoop: It is entirely up to
the tire manufacturers to decide how to pass these costs directly to
you and me. Some call this an eco fee. Others call it an eco tax. It is
neither. It is the cost of recycling the tires. It is the manufacturers
who decide how their customers pay for these costs, by either including
them in the tire price, or by adding them to the price and displaying
this cost on the receipt you receive when you purchase a tire. Not a
penny of this money goes to government - it goes right back into the
cost of tire recycling where it belongs.
My fourth point: Costs for recycling many types of tires, including
those used in the agricultural sector, are going up. OTS is now
required by the Minister of the Environment's Regulation to bill tire
manufacturers for actual recycling costs, not estimated costs. And
because of the weight and size of many tires in the agricultural
sector, it costs more to recycle them. One tire can weigh as much as
1,200 kilograms, or 100 times more than one of the tires on a family
My final point: Under the Used Tires Program, everyone including farmers
can now dispose of their old tires at no extra charge. The program has
eliminated a cost farmers previously had to pay for the responsible
disposal of their tires. OTS has worked with farmers to remove, free of
charge, large accumulations of tires. To date, they have cleaned up
more than 500,000 tires, including many from agricultural properties,
thus eliminating the costs that farmers would have otherwise had to
bear to clean up those piles themselves.
OTS has consulted extensively with those affected by the increasing
costs. It has also offered to meet with any organization, particularly
in the agricultural, forestry and mining sectors, and will continue to
do so in the weeks ahead. As the oversight agency, Waste Diversion
Ontario will keep monitoring this consultation process to make sure
everyone is treated fairly.
As we move forward, let's also remember this: Thankfully, we are in a
new era. Gone are the days when old tires were treated as junk. Gone
are the days when our landfills and fields were full of old tires.
Instead, we now have a successful tire recycling program that is fully
funded by the folks who make our tires.
SOURCE: Waste Diversion Ontario
For further information:
Julie Kwiecinski, WDO Communications