Tags
Tire Recycling

The state of Tire Recycling in Ontario: Q&A with Andrew Horsman

WITH ONTARIO TIRE STEWARDSHIP'S PENDING DISSOLUTION, WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO END-OF-LIFE TIRES IN THE PROVINCE?

Into the shredder: the 25-millionth tire to be recycled at Emterra Tire Recycling, Ontario, an OTS program participant and member of the Canadian Association of Tire Recycling Agencies.
Into the shredder: the 25-millionth tire to be recycled at Emterra Tire Recycling, Ontario, an OTS program participant and member of the Canadian Association of Tire Recycling Agencies.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Ontario Tire Stewardship's Used Tires Program had reached a significant milestone: the recycling of its 100 millionth tire since the program began in 2009. Alberta is the only other Canadian province to achieve this milestone. 

Before the implementation of the Ontario program, many of the province's tires ended up in landfills or accumulated in tire piles. Because of Ontario Tire Stewardship's (OTS) Used Tires Program (UTP), 100 percent of scrap tires generated in Ontario are currently recycled into high value, sustainable products - and importantly, no tires are burned, disposed of in landfills or illegally dumped.

OTS has also established a tire recycling network of over 700 stewards, 7,000 collectors, almost 100 haulers, and a group of 30 processors and recycled product manufacturers with the goal of building a sustainable future for Ontario and supporting the circular economy. Used tires in the province are now being redesigned into eco-friendly products including patio tiles, rubber landscaping mulch, gym flooring, playground surfacing, floor underlay and more. OTS has also invested more than $100 million into the Ontario economy through research and development, and into new markets that have led to the creation of hundreds of jobs. Additionally, through the OTS Community Renewal Fund (CRF) grant program, a total of 60 projects have been awarded over $1 million in funding for new and need-to-be-renewed public spaces, like playgrounds and fitness tracks.

Despite all of their success, OTS will cease to operate as of the end of 2018.

In November 2016, the Government of Ontario passed the Waste Free Ontario Act (WFOA, Bill 151) which began the process of revising the waste diversion policy framework in Ontario by repealing the Waste Diversion Act and setting the stage to transition existing stewardship plans to an Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) model under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act (RRCEA).

On February 17, 2017, the Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MoECC) issued direction to OTS to develop a wind-up plan for the Used Tires Program. This plan is to be submitted to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) by October 31 this year, with the UTP to be fully wound-up on December 31, 2018. In consultation with various stakeholders, including an industry consultation session at the recent Tire and Rubber Recycling Association summit in June, OTS is now working on developing the wind-up plan as directed by the MoECC.

We talked to Andrew Horsman, OTS executive director, about the organization's successes and mandate for the UTP wind-up and closure, and about what it means for tire recycling in Ontario.

RPN: Tell us more about your milestone of 100 million tires recycled in Ontario.
Andrew Horsman (AH): It really is a testament to our commitment to making sure we maintain used tire diversion rates at the current high level, and that consumers are buying into the notion that there is a life for scrap tires, and that they are an important part of the solution. 

 Back when we launched this program in 2009, consumers' interests were really about ‘How do I get rid of my scrap tires? What is OTS going to do about the tire piles? And how are you going to eliminate new illegal dumping?' And so, we focused on those issues very early. More and more, what we saw through our engagement with consumers, either through social media or industry events, is that they are interested in what happens to the scrap tire. Where does it go? How does it get recycled? And what is my opportunity to participate as a consumer of those products? 

And so while the hundred million is an impressive number, I think the story that is even more interesting is really about the growth of a domestic manufacturing industry that is using recycled tire material to make high-value, sustainable, high-performing products that consumers are interested in.

RPN: What can you tell us about OTS' success in end market development for recycled tires?
AH: In the early days, it was about building capacity, but for some time now it has been about developing markets that have the capacity and wherewithal to stand on their own. 
Our focus at OTS has always been on developing markets that are beyond the commodity stage. When we launched our program, we had a number of goals. Our first goal was to make sure all of Ontario's tires were getting recycled; none of them were being sent for tire-derived fuel or alternative daily cover and landfill. We did that fairly quickly by setting up service contracts with both in-province and out-of-province recycling suppliers. 

Our next goal was to really start moving tire recycling in Ontario up the value chains. That started with us working with the Ontario industry to develop enough capacity to manage all of Ontario's tires, which meant we had to double capacity, more or less, in the province. We hit that milestone in 2012, when capacity was enough to manage all of Ontario's scrap tires. 

Our focus since then has really been on building markets domestically for recycled rubber, and that takes a number of forms. We work with Ontario-based manufacturers - companies that take recycled rubber and either mould it or blend it with plastics or other rubbers to make finished goods in the province - and have supported further innovation for the use of scrap tires through our research and development grant program. 

We're focused right now on trying to develop the rubber-modified asphalt market in Ontario. And we've also got a number of programs, such as our Retailer Rebate Program where we work with retailers, and others, in trying to incentivize consumer behaviour, to encourage Ontario's consumers to buy Ontario-made recycled rubber products. 
As well, through the OTS grant program known as the Community Renewal Fund, 60 community projects across the province have been awarded funding for new and need-to-be-renewed public spaces, like playgrounds and fitness tracks, further encouraging environmentally friendly building while boosting the Ontario economy.

All of those initiatives are about trying to maximize the value of recycled material to create a self-sustaining industry. We have also worked to develop the wherewithal within the recycling industry in Ontario to be able to supply those markets, which means building capacity. That means improving the tire recycler's efficiency and supporting them to be able to invest in their own operations, to make better, more consistent product, and on a more consistent basis. Because that is what those markets demand. It's also about creating manufacturing industry consumers as well. 

 Our mandate has always been very Ontario-centric. We've tried to create solutions in the province to manage recycled tire material, but the reality is that recycled tires is a North American market, not only for commodity material, but also for manufactured goods. So when we have a manufacturer that makes outdoor living products, whether it's flooring or planting pots, for example, their customers are all over the continent. You want diversified markets, but we also want to benefit in the province by using recycled rubber product wherever possible. 
 
RPN: How will Bill 151 (the Waste-Free Ontario Act) affect the tire recycling industry in Ontario?
AH:
The legislation that's been passed - the Waste-Free Ontario Act, Bill 151 - will fundamentally change how tire, as well as paint and electronics, packaging and printed materials stewardship works in the province of Ontario. Under the old legislation - the Waste Diversion Act - it led to the creation of one entity, OTS, to manage diversion services for the province. 

In today's system, OTS is the entity responsible for diverting tires, managing tire recycling for all of the tire producers and other suppliers of tires and delivering these programs in a centralized fashion. We are the ones who are accountable to the Minister and our oversight body. 

The new legislation will fundamentally change that, so the obligation to divert material will not rest with one entity, like we are today. It will accrue to the individual companies supplying the manufactured products [the source of tire waste]. In the new legislation, individual companies such as Bridgestone, Michelin, Ford, Toyota, Canadian Tire, etc., will be the ones who are legally responsible for achieving diversion. How they choose to do that, whether on their own or by joining some sort of collective group, will be up to them. 

And so the consequence of Bill 151 for OTS is that as of December 31, 2018, our used tire program as we currently deliver it will cease to operate. Tire manufacturers will take over the responsibility as of January 1, 2019. It means OTS will cease to exist. Sometime in 2019, when we finish our remaining work, Ontario Tire Stewardship, as a corporation, will be wound up. 

 This last legislative review and change is basically the government's third attempt at reworking waste diversion on Ontario. It's not entirely surprising to us that it went this way. They're certainly charting new territory. No other jurisdiction in Canada is pursuing this kind of legislative approach. To my knowledge, no other jurisdiction in the world has done what they're doing here: where they've built one system, and then they're going to tear that down and mandate the building of a new system. 

This change is creating uncertainty in the market. The finalization of the Regulation, followed by the producers beginning to develop their approaches to diverting tires, will eventually reduce this; however, at present, in the absence of these important elements there is a disruptive impact. Our job at OTS is to work to ensure stability and continue our high diversion rates from now until the end of 2018.

RPN: What will happen with end-of-life tires once the OTS wind-up is complete?
AH:
My personal view is that of course tire diversion will continue to happen in Ontario. There will probably be two or three smaller versions of OTS out there, as well as some individual companies who might decide that they can do it on their own. They will contract directly with recyclers to ensure that tires get recycled in accordance with their legal obligation. 

My concern is that there's a lot of uncertainty in terms of how this transition is going to happen. As we talk to our stakeholders, as we're developing our wind-up plan, the number one concern we hear is: ‘How is this going to work once OTS is gone?' 

How will some of our larger, more strategic market development initiatives - like rubber-modified asphalt, consumer rebates, and our research and development branch - be delivered in an environment where you have multiple, competing programs? That's not clear. It's also not clear what the obligations will be around this. Because the government hasn't yet written the new regulations. But that will come, and they are starting to consult on it.

From the government's perspective, they are not trying to lay out a prescriptive path. They are trying to give choice to the Michelins, the Goodyears, the Toyotas and other tire producers. At a high level, that's not a bad thing. Giving them choice in terms of how they meet their obligations is a tough thing to argue against. I think they should have a choice. 

I think the concern from OTS's perspective is that we've been a highly successful program with essentially 100 percent diversion. We've doubled recycling capacity, tripled manufacturing capacity, focused on developing domestic markets, and all through that we've also reduced our costs significantly. Our fee on passenger and light truck tires is the second lowest in the country, and over 40 percent reduction over the last four years. We've reduced our fees on other categories like commercial truck and off-road tires by almost 6 percent over the last couple of years. And so, I think it's fair to ask the question: ‘What problem are they trying to fix here?' 

I think the government's view is that if the producers, the tire producers, tire stewards, decide that they want to create one company on the other side to which they'll all subscribe, that option is not precluded to them. I think what they may have underestimated, although they're getting more immersed in it now, is the degree to which going from OTS to that new framework might create uncertainty and disruption in the market. 

But, that is the nature of this beast. Any time you're going to alter framework legislation, there's going to be change that's required. Our goal and the tire stewards' goal will be to make sure all the best things about the current used tire program are preserved and perpetuated going forward. RPN

This article was originally published in Recycling Product News, September 2017, Volume 25, Number 6.

Tires waiting to be shredded at OTS recycled product manufacturer Moose Creek Tire Recycling.
Tires waiting to be shredded at OTS recycled product manufacturer Moose Creek Tire Recycling.

Company Info

Latest News

Tags
Plastics Recycling

​TERRACYCLE WINS AWARD FROM UNITED NATIONS

​TERRACYCLE WINS AWARD FROM UNITED NATIONS

TerraCycle, the global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle waste was recently named a winner of a United Nations Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity award. The recognition is for the initiative announced earlier this year with TerraCycle, Procter & Gamble and SUEZ to create the world's first fully recyclable shampoo bottle made with beach plastic. TerraCycle will receive this prestigious award in Bonn, Germany in November during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23).

Read More

Tags
Plastics Recycling
Paper Recycling
Metals Recycling
Organics Recycling
Solid Waste

THE ROAD TO BETTER PRODUCTION, ACCURACY AND RELIABILITY

Figure 1. Generic layout of an optical scanning machine.

Material recovery facilities (MRFs) are seeing many challenges that directly impact operations. Some of these challenges include: new recycled material quality standards from China, the ratcheting up of voluntary and mandatory local and state recycling goals, lower tolerance for worker injury, increasing volumes and a changing waste stream, disposal bans on organics in landfills, and high demand from emerging energy markets for organics.

Read More

Tags
Wood Recycling

SIMPLE MATH: Crunching the Numbers leads to alternative fuel source for Bevo Farms

Vermeer’s HG6000TX allows Bevo Farms to produce consistent material sizes, providing a better fuel source.

Simple math - that's the answer Leo Benne of Bevo Farms provides when asked why North America's top propagation company got into the wood waste recycling business. With 48 acres (19.4 hectares) of greenhouses in Langley, British Columbia, and another 5.5 acres (2.2 hectares) in neighbouring Pitt Meadows, it takes an incredible amount of energy to keep Bevo Farms' facilities at the right temperatures during the colder months of the year. So when natural gas prices began to rise in the early 2000s, the company began considering alternative fuel sources and added a wood boiler for its heating system - a decision that eventually led Bevo Farms into the wood waste recycling industry.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Call2Recycle, Inc. advances its commitment to safety with the introduction of its new flame retardant box liner

Call2Recycle, Inc. advances its commitment to safety with the introduction of its new flame retardant box liner

Call2Recycle, Inc., North America's largest consumer battery stewardship organization, has announced an innovation to bolster the safety in handling and transporting potentially dangerous batteries.  Its U.S. battery collection containers will include an innovative, flame retardant liner.  This new feature is part of the organization's Charge Up Safety! initiative to further the safe collection, transport and recycling of consumer batteries.

Read More

Tags
Metals Recycling

China Concerns Weigh on Nonferrous Scrap Market Sentiment

China Concerns Weigh on  Nonferrous Scrap Market Sentiment

As the world's largest importer of nonferrous metal scrap, China continues to be a critical market driver for scrap metal recyclers. In 2016, mainland China accounted for 70 percent of all U.S. copper and copper alloy scrap exports and more than 50 percent of U.S. aluminum scrap exports, according to Census Bureau data. Given China's dominant share of global nonferrous metal consumption and the potential impacts of looming Chinese scrap import restrictions, it should come as no surprise that China was a recurring topic of conversation at ISRI's 2017 Commodities Roundtable Forum in September. 

Read More

Tags
Metals Recycling
Solid Waste
C&D Recycling

Selecting the Right Solid Tires for Industry Specific Applications

Approximately twenty years ago, those of us working in the off-road heavy equipment industry regularly witnessed a high amount of failures in machines operating on cement or other hard surfaces. Extended steel rims were used with small, hard, rubber wheels. When these rubber tires chipped and chunked, vibrations and bouncing sent shockwaves into the machine, causing shortened life and expensive repairs, not to mention stress on operators. Drivetrain components (U-joints and articulation joints) in particular often suffered from stress cracks caused by vibrations and a bouncing machine. 

Read More

Tags
C&D Recycling
Organics Recycling

Fines Content Removal for Marin Sanitary Service Creates Secondary Market

Fines in a cogeneration power station create more ash.  That was the problem facing Marin Sanitary Service back in 1999 and 2000. Marin, a California-based family-owned company, had installed a complete Jeffrey Radar system in 1987, including hammermill, chain conveyor and vibratory screen, to manage their curbside green waste business as well as the construction-and-demolition (C&D) waste in Marin's Resource Recovery Center.

Read More

Tags
Solid Waste
Organics Recycling
Plastics Recycling
Industry News

Waste Reduction Week in Canada Celebrates Achievement and Encourages Improvement

Waste Reduction Week in Canada Celebrates Achievement and Encourages Improvement

For 16 years Waste Reduction Week in Canada has been highlighted in calendars to remind and encourage everyone on the importance of reducing waste. Canadians are proud of their environment and have been recognized around the world for recycling programs.  However, work can still be done; among OECD countries Canada ranks 26 out of 35 by only recycling and composting 24 per cent of its municipal waste.

Read More

Crushing Attachments Run Down

Crushing Attachments Run Down

The Okada America, Inc. trommel screening bucket (TMB Series) is ideal for screening C&D debris out of soil and sand to make recycling efficient and keep dumping requirements to a minimum. The TMB Series features two-way drum rotation or operation in a single direction with a drum rotation speed that can be fine-tuned. The TMB Series is offered in four sizes for carriers ranging from 6 to 40 tons.

Read More

Tags
Metals Recycling

Inner City Metal

Located on the edge of downtown Vancouver, Davis Trading had its start in 1909. David Davis founded the company as a horse and buggy style operation - more of a trading company than a recycler - hence the company's full name, Davis Trading & Supply Ltd. Over its more than 100 years in the business, the company has salvaged, traded and recycled everything from glass bottles, inner tubes, cotton and mattresses to used clothing and even horse hair and animal bones. 

Read More

Tags
Paper Recycling
Plastics Recycling
Metals Recycling
Solid Waste

​SWANA provides update to States on Chinese import ban

​SWANA provides update to States on Chinese import ban

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has issued an update to state officials concerning the July 18, 2017 notification to the World Trade Organization from China on their intent to ban certain waste imports. The update provides background to states on the Chinese waste ban, details how the ban could impact state and local recycling programs, and suggests action items states should consider to respond to increased market uncertainty.

Read More

Tags
C&D Recycling
Wood Recycling
Composting

​CBI hosts 2017 Factory Forum at New Hampshire headquarters

​CBI hosts 2017 Factory Forum at New Hampshire headquarters

 NEWTON, N.H. - Continental Biomass Industries (CBI) hosted its 2017 Factory Forum October 3rd through 5th at its global headquarters in Newton, putting on live demos and workshops for guests from around the world. The three day event saw guests from Sweden, Brazil, and various businesses throughout the United States, including local customers who partnered with CBI for the live demonstrations.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

2017 State of Extended Producer Responsibility in Canada Report available

2017 State of Extended Producer Responsibility in Canada Report available

During a presentation at the Canadian Conference on Stewardship in Montreal, held September 27-29, Extended Producer Responsibility Canada (EPRC) released its 2017 report on the progress Canadian federal, provincial and territorial governments have made year-over-year since 2011 in developing and implementing extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies and programs in compliance with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment's (CCME) Canada-wide Action Plan on EPR.

Read More