The Ontario Tire Dealer Association and the Ontario Tire Collectors Association say that “Ontario doesn’t need a $200 million tire tax” and say that instead recycling of tires and economic development can be promoted by financially rewarding consumers who “buy recycled.”
Their news release announces the Ontario Tire Recycling and Economic Development plan (OnTRED) a tire stewardship program that will reward consumers for buying recycled rubber products, build recycled rubber markets, prevent tire stockpiles, discourage the burning of tires in cement kilns and assist the province in meeting its 2008 60 per cent waste diversion target. The plan is an economically and environmentally superior alternative to a $4/passenger tire and $6/ truck tire consumer tax, they say, that is being proposed to the Ontario Government by tire manufacturers and big box retailers.
The tire tax proposal is expected to cost Ontario consumers almost $200 million over five years.
The OnTRED program rewards consumers rather than taxing them. Specifically OnTRED involves:
A “buy recycled” rebate system that rewards consumers for purchasing a wide range of products containing recycled rubber;
The funding of a registration and approval program for scrap tire collectors and a tracking system for ensuring scrap tires are sent for diversion and are not stockpiled;
A stockpile inventory, moratorium and remediation program; and
Program funding by manufacturers and first importers selling tires into the Ontario market — not consumers.
Glenn Warnica, president of the Ontario Tire Dealers Association notes that, “Well over 85 per cent of scrap tires generated in Ontario annually are recovered today,” adding, “Our program will target the remaining 15 per cent for recovery but in addition will ensure that consumers that buy products with recycled content (i.e., tires, roofing shingles, mats, automotive products, sporting surfaces, etc.) will be financially rewarded for doing so. Incentives — not taxes — are the best way to create markets for recycled rubber.”
“Based on the design of this program we would be prepared to invest in a major manufacturing operation for the production of roofing shingles in Ontario,” says Sean Zimmer Vice-President of Marketing for GEM Inc. adding, “Such an investment means creating jobs by saving natural resources and reducing pollution.” GEM Inc. is a leading manufacturer of premium roofing that is primarily made from recycled rubber from scrap tires.
In promoting recycling and discouraging disposal, the OnTRED program does not provide any incentives for burning of tires in cement kilns — an activity that destroys the inherent value of tires as a recyclable material, undermines recycled rubber markets and generates toxic air pollution as a result.
Gord Perks, senior campaigner at the Toronto Environmental Alliance states that, “The OnTRED plan shows that there is a better alternative to a plan which promotes the burning of tires. The Ontario Minister of the Environment should reject the OTS plan and have something like OnTRED seriously considered. Moreover as an immediate action we are calling on the Ontario government to prohibit the landfill of scrap tires and to ensure that Ontario cement kilns are not encouraged or given permission to burn tires as a waste derived fuel.”
Based on its sound environmental and economic design the OnTRED program has received support from the Citizen’s Network on Waste Management, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Environmental Defence Canada, the Canadian Environmental Law Association and GEM Inc.
For more information, contact:
Ms. Tracy Rockett
Ontario Tire Collectors Association
Suite 123, 282-3 Argyle St. S.,
Caledonia, Ontario N3W 1K7
Mr. Glenn Warnica, President
Ontario Tire Dealers Association