Tire Recycling Rolling Along Across Canada
The Canadian experience in tire recycling reflects strong interest in finding innovative end uses for recycled scrap tires.
- In many other parts of the world, rubber in scrap tires is seen primarily as an energy-producing resource. Burning recycled 'rubber crumb' as Tire-Derived Fuel (TDF) is a common practice.
- But the 'high-tech' incinerators needed for such operations represent very expensive infrastructure. To ensure their long-term stability, the economics involved demand heavily-urbanized regions generating a huge and constant supply of scrap tires.
Canada's geographic character and widespread population has prompted a more diverse approach.
- Our collection systems and processing technology must be compatible with longer transportation distances, seasonal variations in volume, fewer massive urban areas, and smaller numbers of vehicles overall.
- Growing public support for waste reduction throughout the country has also helped to sharpen our focus on recovering and recycling as many resources as possible, from every scrap tire Canadians generate.
Diverse Programs with Complementary Goals
All ten provinces and one Territorial Government (Yukon) now operate centrally coordinated scrap tire recycling programs (see CATRAonline.ca for more information).
- Financial support for each of these systems is based on a levy, or environmental fee, charged on new tire purchases in the jurisdiction concerned.
- Levies across the country for passenger tires presently range from about $3.00 to $5.00, while sales of larger tires generally involve a higher fee, based on rim size.
- In some instances, the tire recycling system is managed by a Government Ministry, Department or 'Crown Corporation.' In other jurisdictions, multi-stakeholder 'Stewardship Boards' or similar agencies carry the central program responsibility.
Industry representatives and other non-government stakeholders are actively involved in tire recycling across Canada. In some cases, the scrap tire program itself is one of several different operations managed by a large 'multi-material' recycling agency.
- The range of end uses for recycled tires is growing steadily more diverse from coast to coast.
- Current examples include a variety of construction materials, truck bed liners, vehicle mud flaps, livestock mattresses, industrial floor mats, noise suppression equipment, roadside pylon supports and engineered rubber bases under 'astro-turf' playing fields. This Canadian emphasis on finding new 'value-added' applications is expected to strengthen even further in the years ahead.
(Reproduced from www.catraonline.ca -- The Canadian Association of Tire Recycling Agencies)
(Source: WasteWatch, October 2003; updated Dec. 2010)
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