The Ontario government has cleaned up the largest illegal stockpile of scrap tires in the province.
The province invested over $1-million and spent more than a year cleaning up the approximately 600,000 used tires illegally stored at the Otterwood tire site in Norwich Township, about 150 kilometres west of Toronto, in Oxford County.
Since 1996, the owners have not complied with court-ordered cleanups and provincial orders to remove the tires. One owner of the site ultimately served four months in jail, while the other received a probation period of two years. Efforts to recoup the costs of the clean-up through a provincial order in January 2004 were ignored.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has instructed the township to sell the property to recover unpaid municipal taxes and the cost of the cleanup. “The site has been a concern for many years,” said Oxford County’s director of public health, Mike Bragg. “It was an ideal breeding ground for mosquitos and West Nile.” Norwich Township mayor Susan Hampson said the site had posed a fire hazard for some time. “The clean-up is a relief to the township.”
The ministry will address other illegal tire sites in the province in the future. Waste diversion Ontario has developed a plan to recycle the more than 10 million used tires that are generated in the province annually and to address the remaining two million used tires stockpiled around the province. The industry plan was recently posted to the Environment Registry.
The public can comment on the industry proposal until February 14, 2005. It is available at: www.ene.gov.on.ca/envregistry/023913er.htm