Resulting from new legislation, Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) is scheduled to wrap up operations by the end of 2018. Until then, the organization will continue to maintain a successful recycling infrastructure and manage used tires in the province to ensure they are properly recycled.
by Andrew Horsman, executive director of Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS).
Did you know approximately 12 million new tires are sold in Ontario every year? But what happens to all those old, discarded tires? That's where Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) and the Used Tires Program comes in.
With the help of our industry partners, including a network of stewards, collectors, haulers, processors and manufacturers who effectively recycle scrap tires, we continue to ensure that old tires in Ontario are not disposed of in landfills, illegally dumped or burned.
In 2017, OTS reached an incredible milestone - the recycling of over 100 million tires since the organization's inception. The Used Tires Program facilitates the collection of used tires from all parts of the province and the delivery to tire recyclers, leading to an extremely high provincial tire diversion rate. The program has also led to the creation of a circular economy by turning recycled tires into high-value, sustainable products that can be used in many applications.
Since the beginning, the Used Tires Program has helped Ontario recyclers and product manufacturers advance the tire recycling industry by supporting innovation and investment in the development of new processes and end products.
This focus and investment has led to innovative ways to transform old tires into cutting-edge, usable material. OTS initiatives have paved the way for multiple new uses for crumb rubber - the recovered material produced when old tires are recycled - and material made from recycled tires has been successfully used to revitalize community spaces and offer a range of sustainable options for consumer markets.
Supporting R&D in Ontario
OTS has worked alongside Ontario manufacturers to support research and development in the industry, leading to the creation of new products and more efficient recycling facilities. The primary goal of OTS's R&D program has been to support the growth of a self-sustaining industry in Ontario and build high-value end markets for recycled rubber. To support this evolution, OTS has focused investment in the domestic manufacturing industry, promoting economic sustainability where recycled tires are a valuable feedstock. Ontario's recycled tire products industry is now well on its way to establishing itself.
We are proud to see how Ontario's manufacturers have innovated to expand into new markets, creating hundreds of jobs in the province, and have advanced tire recycling in Ontario up the value chain. The results of consistent scrap tire supply and steady investment has meant the creation of new manufacturing processes and equipment to facilitate the use of crumb rubber to make innovative, eco-friendly products for both industry and consumers.
Among the major successes of OTS' R&D program is our work with Fusion Thetics, who received a grant to support the integration of recycled crumb rubber into their manufacturing process to generate a new product.
Based in southwestern Ontario, Fusion Thetics designs and manufactures innovative building material solutions for a variety of industries, produced using recycled materials. In fact, they are among the largest recyclers of coffee pods in North America, turning those used pods into composite building materials. To further expand their product offerings, Fusion Thetics applied for OTS's R&D grant to support a new product creation - rubberized composite lumber that is made using crumb rubber and recycled plastics.
The addition of recycled rubber to Fusion Thetics' formula has resulted in a product that provides strength, versatility and flexibility, further expanding its potential application and attracting new industries.