NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario—The worldwide regulatory climate for scrap tire recycling is challenging, but national organizations are striving to meet all regulations and create robust recycled rubber markets, according to speakers at the 2016 Rubber Recycling Symposium, held in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Oct. 5-7.
“Driving Towards the Circular Economy” was the theme of the conference, sponsored jointly by Ontario Tire Stewardship, the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, and the Rubber Manufacturers Association. Presentations at the conference concentrated on efforts by private organizations, recyclers, tire manufacturers and government agencies to create sustainable tire production based on recovery and reutilization of recycled tire materials.
The Canadian Tire Recycling Association exists to empower tire recycling across Canada and support the circular economy, according to Jeff MacCallum, CEO of Divert Nova Scotia, that province's not-for-profit tire recycling organization.
“Working together, we feel we can accomplish more,” said MacCallum of CATRA's 11 provincial and territorial member organizations.
CATRA brings together the best minds in Canadian tire recycling and affiliated groups, he said. It serves the tire recycling industry in five areas, he added: knowledge management, service to members, facilitation of sustainable markets, organizational capacity and advocacy.
Stakeholders in CATRA include government departments and agencies, international recycling groups and tire industry groups, MacCallum said.
Scrap tire collection is growing steadily in Canada, according to MacCallum. In 2015, a total of 395,342 metric tons were collected, up from 393,291 tons in 2014, he said.
Total revenue from tire recycling fees has remained steady at about $170 million to $180 million annually, while most provinces either have reduced fees or left them unchanged, MacCallum said.
Canada has a complex regulatory environment regarding scrap tires, with varying definitions of tire stewards from province to province, he said.
“There are different interpretations across the country, and CATRA would like to see that harmonized,” he said.
Also, provinces vary as to which tires they will accept, according to MacCallum. Not every province collects bicycle tires, and only Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island accept all sizes of off-the-road tires, he said.
All Canadian provinces require annual performance reports on scrap tire stewardship, but the details are inconsistent from province to province, MacCallum said.
Regulations require annual financial audits in all but two member jurisdictions, he said.
Crumb rubber is the main product of Canadian tire recyclers, comprising 35 percent of total output, the executive said. Molded goods are second at 24 percent, and tire-derived fuel third at 11 percent, he said.
Five CATRA member organizations—in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan—offer community grant programs for installation of playgrounds, athletic fields, landscaping and other projects, according to MacCallum.
All CATRA members dedicate significant resources to public education about tire maintenance and recycling, and many—including Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland/Labrador—fund R&D and innovation programs, MacCallum said.
“Our members are constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to recycle and use scrap tires,” he said.