Ontario’s Liberal government is getting the wheels turning again for a product stewardship program for scrap tires. The program will be referred to Waste Diversion Ontario for development. It remains unclear whether the WDO will dust off the old version — a first attempt that was rejected by government — or start all over again. Like the current draft program for electronics waste (which has been criticized as a threat to the province’s many small e-waste recyclers), the initial tire program was determined to be overly disruptive to a well-established network of tire recyclers. A struggle still remains between two competing plans, one developed by original tire manufacturers and another by the tire recyclers. Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty is also under pressure to not introduce any new taxes since he publicly dismissed the last version of the plan as being too much like the old “tire tax” (since withdrawn) that collected revenues on new tire sales but sent the money into general revenues.
The tire recyclers have argued there are few large scrap tire piles in the province anymore, and that any tire stewardship program should recognize and improve upon the current system, not stymie it with a central planning approach in which a limited number of qualified vendors are chosen by a small committee.