REGINA, Saskatchewan — The Saskatchewan government has approved spending up to $3.3 million (Canadian) to clean up nearly 6,700 metric tons of scrap tires at a recycling plant in Assiniboia that closed in 2014.
The site in question was operated by Assiniboia Rubber Recycling, which ceased operations in February 2014. The company that operated it went into receivership later that year.
The cleanup project will be funded by the Government of Saskatchewan and overseen by Tire Stewardship of Saskatchewan (TSS), the province's scrap tire recycling program operator, according to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, which has ultimate responsibility for the effort.
TSS issued a Request for Proposals earlier this year to dispose of scrap tires at the site, as well as determine the cost of cleaning it up.
"Any contaminated site in Saskatchewan becomes a risk to public health and safety if not managed properly," Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said, noting that its initiative is authorized under the Environmental Management and Protection Act of 2010.
"TSS is pleased to move this initiative forward, as it was identified as one of our top priorities," Colin Frasier, chair of the TSS board of directors, said.
"By working collaboratively with the Ministry of Environment, we will be able to help remediate the Assiniboia site. This project has been a long time coming, and we are pleased to play an active role in the solution."
Assiniboia Mayor Bob Himbeault said, "The town is very pleased with this announcement, as this issue has been very concerning for council, administration and our greater community. We are looking forward to a successful resolution."
Assiniboia is a town of about 2,500 inhabitants located 100 miles southwest of Regina, the provincial capital.
According to local news reports, Assiniboia Rubber Recyclers Inc. purchased the site in 2006 from Prairie Rubber Corp., which had operated the facility since 2000.