BROOKFIELD, Nova Scotia-An advisory committee´s report is causing the government of Nova Scotia to rethink its strategy on how to deal with the more than 900,000 tires generated in the province each year.
That reconsideration jeopardizes a proposed contract between the Resource Recovery Fund Board of Nova Scotia and Lafarge Canada, for Lafarge to begin using some 60 percent of those tires at its cement kiln in Brookfield and the rest at its plant in Quebec.
A Lafarge official, however, noted that the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labor has said only it will not allow the use of tire-derived fuel in Nova Scotia for the time being, and that his company still hopes to use TDF at Brookfield.
The RRFB announced the contract with Lafarge last January. In doing so, however, it noted that Lafarge had to obtain the necessary approvals from Environment and Labor, as well as make modifications to the Brookfield plant to allow the reliable and consistent feeding of scrap tires into the kiln.
Meanwhile, in July, Environment and Labor Minister Mark Parent appointed an advisory committee to review options for used tire processing in Nova Scotia, based on an assessment from Dalhousie University on the use of tires as alternative fuel.
The advisory committee´s report, dated Oct. 31, said it considered several other options preferable to TDF as a use for scrap tires in Nova Scotia.
There are many viable options for TDF, such as retreading, lightweight engineering fill, landscaping mulch, roofing shingles, animal mats, playground and athletic tracks and asphalt rubber, the report stated.
If TDF is to be used in Nova Scotia, the current citizen advisory group should include residents of Brookfield and nearby areas, many of whom have voiced concerns about the environmental effects of burning tires as fuel, the report said. There should also be a baseline monitoring program to collect data on soil, air, surface water and ground water before TDF burning began, it added.
In a news release, Parent thanked the committee and said TDF will not be used in Nova Scotia in the foreseeable future.
"The committee´s hard work will contribute to the design of an effective and environmentally responsible tire management program," he said.
Bill Ring, CEO of the RRFB, said he expected the first meeting on scrap tire policy between his organization and provincial officials to take place by early December. Forming a cogent strategy will take several months, he added.
Lafarge, meanwhile, still believes a TDF permit at Brookfield is the best alternative for Nova Scotia in managing its scrap tire generation, according to James Kirkpatrick, plant manager at Brookfield. Kirkpatrick noted that two other companies, both recyclers, held the province´s scrap tire contract before, and both failed.
"We will be in touch with the department, and we´ll see just how they pull their strategy together," Kirkpatrick said. Lafarge already transports scrap tires from Nova Scotia to its Quebec kiln, and it expects to continue to do so, he added.