Auto Service World
Feature   August 1, 2007   by CARS Magazine

OTDA looks to help recycling efforts with a push for OnTRED

Ontario firms based around the recycling and reuse of scrap tires are facing a shortage of tires, even though there are enough used tires to meet the rising demands for products made from the millions...

Ontario firms based around the recycling and reuse of scrap tires are facing a shortage of tires, even though there are enough used tires to meet the rising demands for products made from the millions of tires discarded by the province’s drivers.

The Ontario Tires Dealers Association (OTDA) held an open forum in Toronto in late July where tire haulers and manufactures using recycled tires and rubber were invited to hear about the state of the industry and to discuss ways to get more scrap tires into the recycling stream without having to rely on a government-sponsored program.

Peter Hutley of Ontario Tire Recovery, one of the province’s largest haulers of spent tires, said many of the province’s recyclers are struggling to find an adequate supply of tires for their businesses, a situation that should not be happening considering how many used tires are produced each year in Ontario. Hutley said the province produces some 14-15 million passenger tire equivalents (PTEs) or used tires that can be used in wide variety of industries.

Some of the reuses of scrap tires include sending still usable tires for export overseas to such markets and China and India; the manufacturing of blasting mats; in roadbed or drainage construction; the manufacturing of crumb rubber which is used in making fatigue mats, rubber moldings and even artificial turf; and tire derived fuels.

“But the most disturbing part of where our tires are going is that some 21 per cent, or 3.1 million PTEs, are going into landfill in Ontario,” Hutley said. “Ontario tire processors are in need of more tires and too many tires are going into landfills.”

Greg Bavington of National Rubber Technologies Corp., a manufacturer of recycled rubber products with two manufacturing facilities in Toronto, said his business has to compete to get scrap tires, and too often usable tires are diverted to landfills or burned for energy because it is simply cheaper to dispose of the tires through such means. This means recyclers looking to use that rubber in manufacturing of such things as automotive parts, as National Rubbers does, are unfairly deprived of that necessary resource.

“We need a program that encourages those higher-order solutions on recycling process, and fairly distributed the tipping fees to encourage those who dispose tires to send it to the higher order recycling methods,” Bavington added.

“Ontario needs an effective scrap tire program,” said Glenn Warnica of OTDA. “We are looking for something that is environmentally effective and consistent with the Waste Diversion Act of 2002. It needs to be economically efficient and to have a minimum impact on the economy, and it needs to be simple to run and to work.”

Ontario’s government in 2004 approved a Scrap Tire Diversion Program Plan developed by the Tire Stewardship Ontario which would have had tire retailers to remit a fee for each passenger and light-truck tire sold. That program has been abandoned. An alternative to this plan is OnTRED, a plan put forward by the OTDA.

Warnica said OnTRED offers several key elements, several of which are a consumer-based set of rebates that encourages the buying recycled products, similar to ones used to promote the sale of energy-efficient appliances; a streamlined collector registration and scrap tire tracking system; and an inventory methodology for stockpiling of scrap tires.

Warnica said he would also like to see more effective regulation that would ban whole tire being put into Ontario landfills and the discouragement of building stockpiles of scrap tires, along with greater incentives for municipalities to use recycled rubber in such things as rubberized asphalt and for consumers to bring used tires to recyclers.

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