OTTAWA (Feb. 17, 2012)—A new regulation from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment changing the funding methods for waste diversion programs is “a serious concern” to the Canadian tire industry, according to the Rubber Association of Canada.
Jim Bradley, Ontario Minister of the Environment, sent a letter Feb. 9 to Michael Scott, CEO of Waste Diversion Ontario. Waste Diversion Ontario is a corporation created by Ontario's Waste Diversion Act to oversee environmental stewardship programs for a number of materials and products, including tires.
In the letter, Bradley told Scott the Ministry of the Environment had issued a regulation implementing a new fee-setting methodology for operating municipal hazardous and special waste programs.
“This new methodology should ensure that Stewardship Ontario fully recovers the costs incurred on the delivery of the program and avoids the creation of surpluses or deficits that could affect the sustainability of the program,” Bradley wrote. “The new methodology also requires Stewardship Ontario to address accumulated deficits for waste categories in the program.”
Bradley ordered Waste Diversion Ontario to review Stewardship Ontario's plan to implement the new regulation and provide a report to him by March 23. He also ordered the agency to work with Ontario Tire Stewardship to develop a similar funding plan and provide it to him by the same date.
Bradley also asked for a review of Ontario Tire Stewardship's incentive programs for rubber recycling operations by June 1.
In operation since 2009, the Ontario Used Tire Program is funded by a schedule of fees on each new tire sold in the province.
Those identified as stewards—tire manufacturers, retailers and importers, as well as vehicle manufacturers and tire brand owners—are responsible for funding the program through those fees. In turn, the money goes to fund Ontario's scrap tire recycling industry.
In the RAC's Feb. 16 e-newsletter, RAC President Glenn Maidment warned association members that the new regulation would abandon stewardship fees in favor of invoicing stewards on a quarterly basis based on costs incurred to manage materials in the previous fiscal quarter. It also, he said, would force Stewardship Ontario to invoice stewards retroactively in any material category for any deficits.
The ministry's directives could seriously destabilize a very successful tire stewardship program, according to Maidment.
“Our projects are working exceedingly well,” Maidment said, adding that 96 percent of Ontario's tires now go to productive end-uses because of Ontario Tire Stewardship.
Maidment said he and other representatives of the RAC were scheduled to meet with representatives of the Ministry of the Environment Feb. 22 to discuss the funding issue and express their concerns.