Auto Service World
Feature   August 1, 2008   by CARS Magazine

Letters to the Editor (August 01, 2008)

My compliments for a well-balanced article, "Does Ontario Need A Tire Stewardship Program?" As Chair of both the Ontario and Manitoba tire stewardship organizations, and an active board member of Tire...

My compliments for a well-balanced article, “Does Ontario Need A Tire Stewardship Program?” As Chair of both the Ontario and Manitoba tire stewardship organizations, and an active board member of Tire Stewardship B. C, I would like to respond to the question, with a resounding ‘Yes.” Ontario does need a tire program and there is no doubt that these successful provincial tire programs could be easily created here in Ontario. In addition, I have two other comments to make.

The article notes that Quebec has much more rubber recycling capacity, than scrap tires. I think it’s fair to ask why this is. We contend it is precisely because Quebec has a managed scrap tire program in place. When provinces introduce these tire programs, rubber processors begin to have confidence they will receive the tires they need at a predictable price. When this happens, processors are willing to make needed investment in plant and equipment. This was certainly the case in Quebec, but unfortunately not the case in Ontario today.

Secondly, these other provincial tire programs work precisely because somebody, or some agency, be it government or industry, is charged with the responsibility for and accountability to, manage the program. In other words, the free-market, left to its own devises, is not equipped to do the complete job. Are all the scrap tires in Ontario being collected and diverted from the waste stream? For the most part I agree this is the case. But where are the tires going and are they going to the best use? I think if you canvassed the processors in Ontario they would say emphatically they are not getting enough tires at a predicable fee to warrant any investment. Left to its own devices, a free market for scrap tires leads to illegal dumping, provides no funding for stockpile abatement, provides no funding to educate the public, provides no incentives to promote rubber recycled products and does not assist to develop an Ontario based solution.

Yes, Ontario needs a tire stewardship program.

Glenn Maidment President,

The Rubber Association of Canada

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on our industry and the problems we face. I have been involved in the automotive repair business for 25 years. My first 20 years were with an import dealership as a parts and service manager. I have since been employed as general manager with an independent repair facility, servicing all makes and models.

My eyes have been opened since working with the aftermarket automotive independent sector. Our industry has changed dramatically and will continue to change. Technicians and management have to continually train to maintain their abilities to deal with new technology and keep clients satisfied.

Unfortunately, some in the independent sector has merely bought themselves a job. To operate a successful business, we must be able to measure costs. We must be accountable for our actions and therefore charge accordingly. Shops today invest a tremendous amount of money in equipment, scan tools and updates, computer programs, training and more.

Why are we afraid to charge for this? It is time for the independent repair facilities to realize that we are no longer the garage whose “mechanics” have the shop rag hanging out of their back pocket. We are not grease monkeys. If you are licensed, have a look at your certification — what does it say: Automotive Service Technician. That is what we are and we should be proud of this!

Lee Ann Brazolot College Auto Tech

Guelph, Ont

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