Canada and the U.S. alike are moving ahead strongly with provincial and state scrap tire regulations, according to speakers at the Rubber Recycling 2002 conference.
Since 1999, provincial scrap tire officials have had a sounding board in the Canadian Association of Tire Recycling Agencies.
``It's an informal association, with no authority in making things happen,'' CATRA Chairman David Besner said. ``What we were set up to do is enhance the effectiveness of scrap tire recycling and share information, expertise and resources.''
Besides promoting communication between tire recycling agencies and information about tire recycling, CATRA also promotes cooperation on national scrap tire issues and research projects.
``The larger provinces have embarked on some really inventive research projects,'' Besner said. ``The smaller provinces would like to share in that, and would also like to explore joint ventures.''
Ontario, the most populous Canadian province, generates 30 to 35 percent of the nation's scrap tires. Yet it hasn't had a scrap tire law since 1993, when the provincial government scuttled an unpopular program.
However, this likely is to change soon under Ontario's Bill 90 promulgated last June, according to Glenn Maidment, president of the Rubber Association of Canada. The RAC co-sponsored Rubber Recycling 2002, held Oct. 23-25 in Montreal, with Recyc-Quebec, the Quebec provincial agency in charge of recycling programs, and the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
Bill 90 ``provides for the development, implementation and operation of waste diversion programs,'' Maidment said. Its management is under the aegis of Waste Diversion Ontario, a not-for-profit organization created in November 1999 that, in Maidment's words, ``operates at arm's length from the provincial government, though the government has oversight power.''
The WDO's first priority is ``Blue Box'' regulations for household waste, according to Maidment; its second priority probably will be scrap tires. ``The Minister of the Environment already has called for a scrap tire program,'' he said. ``We could see regulations even as we speak.''
Since 2000, the Yukon Department of the Environment has cleaned up 15,000 tires, said Shannon Jensen, an environmental protection analyst with the department. Because of this, the department has proposed a used tire management program.
The Yukon plan would mandate a $3.25 fee on every new tire 24.5 inches or less, Jensen said. The money would go into an existing recycling fund that soon would be abolished in favor of a dedicated scrap tire management fund.
The Newfoundland Multi-Materials Stewardship Board has had a scrap tire program for about 11/2 years, according to Kimberly Spencer, the board's executive director. ``But, as a radio reporter in Newfoundland used to say, `Details are sketchy,' '' she said.
Newfoundland charges $1.95 for each new tire 17 inches or less and $5.85 for each larger tire to fund the program. The board has signed a five-year agreement with a private contractor to establish a tire collection system throughout the province, process the tires and find an end-market for the crumb rubber, Spencer said.
Quebec has had a scrap tire program since 1993, according to Jean-Maurice Latulippe, president and director-general of Recyc-Quebec. The province has set a deadline of 2008 to eliminate all scrap tire piles, Latulippe said. So far it's on track toward that goal, he added. Already in 2002, more than 85 percent of the scrap tires Quebec generates annually are recycled, putting the province six years ahead of the goal it set in 1998.
South of the Canadian border, Delaware and Arkansas are the only U.S. states without a scrap tire management program of some sort, according to John Falardeau, RMA state legislation manager. ``And Delaware may have one soon,'' he said.
Thirty-three states have fees on new tires to fund scrap tire programs, ranging from 25 cents per tire in Kansas to $2 in Louisiana, Falardeau said. Twenty-seven states have active stockpile abatement programs, 35 require registration of scrap tire collectors, 38 have banned the landfilling of whole tires and 11 allow no tire landfilling at all, he added.
Two of the most successful state programs are in California and Florida, both of which have multiple markets for recycled rubber, he said. Two of the least successful are in New York-where broader legislation failed to pass the legislature this year-and Oklahoma, which has ``a very limited scrap tire program'' that limits the free market and closes the state's borders to other scrap tires, he added.
Among pending state legislation, the RMA strongly opposes a Tennessee measure to place a $4 tire cleanup fee on each vehicle registration, according to Falardeau.
``That will create a pile of cash in Tennessee, but if its tire program sees 10 cents out of every four dollars, I'd be surprised,'' he said. ``This thing has got legs, so we'll be spending a lot of time in Nashville.''