LONDON, Ontario-It's Canada's largest generator of scrap tires, yet Ontario has no tire management program in place to recycle scrap tires.
The province's legislature still is considering a bill that would establish a recycling plan that would involve a partnership between the government and the tire industry, but that proposal-Bill 90-has been tabled until the legislature reconvenes in late March or early April, according to Glenn Maidment, president of the Rubber Association of Canada (RAC).
Under Bill 90, Ontario would create a waste diversion organization (WDO), which would oversee all of the province's waste issues-a system similar to what other provinces have in place.
Ontario's tire dealers, haulers, processors and the RAC already have formed a committee to work with the provincial government on developing a tire program once the bill is passed and the WDO is set up, said John Goodwin, executive director of the Ontario Tire Dealers Association. The committee is proposing a ``green fee'' of $3 or $3.50 (Canadian) per passenger tire that dealers would collect at the point of sale to replace a government proposal to charge the first importer or the brand owner a scrap tire fee, Mr. Goodwin said.
``We think we've convinced them of putting the (tire fee) collection on the tire retailer where it should be,'' Mr. Goodwin said.
Truck and off-the-road tires would be subject to higher scrap fees, which are still in discussion, he said.
Meanwhile, Ontario's government is undergoing a transition as the current premier is stepping down and a new premier is not expected to be elected until spring, Mr. Goodwin said, estimating that it would take a year to 16 months before the proposed scrap tire program is in operation.
However, Mr. Maidment disagreed and said he thinks the program is two years away from operation because once Bill 90 is passed, the first priority of the government will be to create a household waste recycling program, then a tire program.
According to the RAC, Ontario generates an estimated 11 million passenger tire equivalents per year, a figure which takes into account truck and OTR scrap tires.
The province's tire dealers had collected a $5 tax on new tires to fund scrap tire management during the early 1990s, but the law that had established that fee was repealed in 1992 because the money collected funded social services instead of tire recycling, Mr. Goodwin said.
Since the repeal, Ontario's government has been ``in denial'' that it has a scrap tire problem, he said, and has exported its scrap tires to other provinces or has restricted landfill disposal to up north where tipping fees are ``ridiculous.''
``I think the consumer and the dealer are now awakening to the fact that we've got to be more `green' with these tires, that we just can't bury them, that we just can't walk away from this problem.... Any time dealers try to prove there's a problem, (government officials) have said they don't see a problem,'' Mr. Goodwin said.
Pending the passage of Bill 90, a WDO would set up a separate operating entity that would be responsible for allocating the fees collected by dealers on new tires towards tire management activities, he said.