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On Earth Day, Ontario touts scrap tire recycling

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TORONTO (April 22, 2014) — Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) is touting efforts that have resulted in the recycling of 60 million tires since it launched the Ontario Used Tires Program in September 2009.

As companies, individuals and organizations mark Earth Day today, OTS put that 60 million number in perspective: “If you stacked this number of tires on top of each other, it would be over 22,000 times taller than the CN Tower!” the group said, referring to the 1,815.4-foot concrete communications and observation tower in downtown Toronto and the city’s tallest landmark.

Part of the recycled amount includes more than 350,000 tires identified in unsafe and potentially environmentally hazardous scrap tire piles, according to OTS, which was established in 2009 and is an Industry Funding Organization (IFO) incorporated under Ontario’s Waste Diversion Act to implement and operate the Used Tires Program.

Not only has OTS now successfully cleared these tires, it said, but as awareness of the program has grown among the public, a further 1.2 million scrap tires have been cleared from farms, auto recycling yards and from piles on other lands as Ontarians report them to OTS. Through the actions of OTS — and the active participation of the public — “the risk presented by these scrap tire piles in Ontario is now eliminated,” OTS said.

“Hand-in-hand with Ontarians, we have successfully diverted over 60 million tires which may have otherwise ended up in landfills or unsightly and potentially hazardous tire piles, and we wholeheartedly thank the public for its participation,” said Andrew Horsman, OTS executive director.

“Used tires in Ontario are no longer burned or end-up in landfills but are recycled into high-quality products such as rubber mulch, playground surfaces and roofing tiles, helping to make the province a safer and healthier place.”

While OTS and the Used Tires Program in Ontario have come a long way since 2009, the organization said “there still remains much work to do and the public’s help is still needed.”

It recommended the following steps to help in the tire-recycling effort:

• If you have a few old tires to be recycled, please visit the OTS Rethink Tires website to find out where you can drop off up to four tires at a time free of charge.

• If you have large tires or a pile of scrap tires, call 1-888-687-2202 to discuss how OTS may be able to help you getting them removed and responsibly recycled.

Mr. Horsman added that “OTS is highly focused on running an efficient Used Tires Program by reducing both program costs and the Tire Stewardship fee. We have continued to deliver on this promise and have once again reduced the fee for standard vehicle tires this year while maintaining fees on all other tire types.

“Our goal is to ensure that we continue to deliver a world-class, long-term and sustainable used tire diversion program that benefits our province for generations to come.

“At OTS, we are transforming the relationship Ontarians have with the lifecycle of their tires, through a comprehensive approach that takes into account our environment, our economy and our quality of life. Through the Used Tires Program, 100 percent of Ontario tires get efficiently and responsibly recycled into new products, leading to more livable communities and a growing green economy in this province.”

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