Michael Scott is CEO of Waste Diversion Ontario (www.wdo.ca, @WDOntario), 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, April 9, 2013 /CNW/ - There is another, more positive side to the story about revised tire recycling fees that took effect on April 1, 2013. Many people have probably already heard through the media or tire circles that the cost to recycle some larger, heavier tires used in the farming and other industries has gone up.
Some are calling this so-called 'eco fee' a tax. It is not a tax. Not a penny goes to the government.
It is a cost tire manufacturers are charging consumers at the retail level to recover their cost for recycling the tire. It is just that simple.
Sometimes consumers ask the sales clerk at a tire store what this cost, displayed on the sticker price, is all about. Unfortunately, some consumers are told, "It's a government tax and they're making us do it."
Wrong on both counts.
The other side of the story that the public needs to know is this: The tire recycling cost for passenger and light truck tires went down slightly on April 1, 2013 from $5.84 to $5.69 per tire. Over 90 per cent of all tires recycled to date come from the Passenger and Light Truck group.
People who will benefit from the lower recycling fee include those who purchase tires for cars, small RVs, SUVs, trucks less than 10,000 lbs. in gross weight, motorcycles and their sidecars, motor bikes, mopeds and golf carts.
Meanwhile, the recycling fee for medium truck tires on such vehicles as commercial trucks and buses remains the same at $14.65 per tire.
No cross-subsidization of tire categories is allowed in Ontario. This means that people who drive their car or truck only once in a while cannot be forced to pay for recycling the larger, heavier tires used on a daily basis in such industries as farming, mining and forestry. The lower recycling cost for car or truck tires as of April 1 reflects the actual cost to recycle their smaller, lighter tires. It's the real cost of responsibly managing scrap tires by keeping them out of landfill, out of ditches and out of incinerators.
Another point we're not hearing much about these days is that the Used Tires Program continues to be a great success since it began in 2009. So far, the program has diverted almost 52 million tires from our landfills. Ontarians can drop off up to four old tires for free, even without buying new ones, at more than 6,900 collection locations across the province during their regular business hours.
Let's remember that it's the tire manufacturers who decide whether or not to pass along none, some or all of the recycling costs to consumers. When you buy new tires in Ontario, you will likely see this cost clearly stated as a line item on your invoice.
Ask the sales person what this cost is all about. If they tell you it's a tax, and they have to charge it, tell them they're wrong, and that they should talk to their supplier and get their facts straight.
If you think the recycling cost is incorrect, and you can't resolve the issue where you bought the tires, staff at the Ministry of Consumer Services' consumer protection hotline can help. The hotline number is 1-800-889-9768 (toll-free), or 416-326-8800.
There are two other key facts I'd like to share. Ontario has boldly gone where no other province has gone before: We are the only province to have taken on the full range of the heavier and larger "Off-The-Road" tires. Finally, the Ontario Used Tires Program has a highly progressive mandate to focus on the development of green manufacturing and jobs in the province, promoting the highest-value recycling of used tires.
Wheels move the world. From the small tires on your car, to the large tires on a transport truck, tires connect people to people, and people to products. That's why tires are important. And that's why recycling them into new products makes so much sense.
SOURCE: Waste Diversion Ontario
For further information:
Communications Advisor, Waste Diversion Ontario
(416) 226-3252 (office)
(416) 550-1995 (cell)