TORONTO (Aug. 15, 2008) — Ontario Environment Minister John Gerretsen has directed Waste Diversion Ontario, the provincial corporation that creates and oversees recycling programs, to set up a scrap tire recycling program in Ontario.
The program should be consumer-oriented and funded by tire brand owners and first importers in Ontario, Mr. Gerretsen said in a letter to Waste Diversion Ontario Chair Gemma Zecchini. It should also place priority on recycling and retreading, fostering the development of “green” technology, with landfilling and incineration to be used only when other options are unavailable or not technically feasible, he said. He directed Mr. Zeccchini to have a proposed program on his desk by year-end.
Ontario is the only Canadian province without a scrap tire stewardship program. It has not had a program since 1993, when an unpopular scrap tire fee of $5 on each new tire sold in the province was repealed. Since then, tire retailers have charged $2 to $5 per tire to dispose of customers' scrap tires, and as many as half of the 12 million tires generated in the province each year have gone to the U.S. for tire-derived fuel.
Glenn Maidment, president of the Rubber Association of Canada, said RAC members would support the program.
“We accept what the government is asking us to do, and we will roll up our sleeves and start working to give the province a tire program that will work,” Mr. Maidment said.