Ontario’s tire recycling program recently reached a remarkable milestone of recycling its 100 millionth tire since the program commenced in 2009. To give an idea of how big such pile could be, 100 million tires stacked on top of one another is the equivalent height of over 36,000 CN Towers.
Before the program was implemented, the heft of the tires ended up on scrapyards throughout the province where the y were accumulated into piles. This posed serious environmental and safety risks. Used tire program enabled to recycle 100 percent of waste tires generated in Ontario into high-value applications. Moreover, no tires were burnt, disposed of in landfills or illegally dumped.
Andrew Horsman, executive director of OTS, says that since the program started a number of goals have been achieved, and the crucial one among them was waste diversion rate. This would not have been possible without the help of inhabitants of the province and firm decision of industry partners to improve environment in Ontario.
OTS's network of over 700 stewards, 7,000 collectors, almost 100 haulers, and group of 30 processors and recycled product manufacturers are building a sustainable future for the province and supporting the circular economy. Through these planet-positive partnerships, old tires are now redesigned into eco-friendly products like patio tiles, rubber landscaping mulch, gym flooring, playground surfacing, floor underlay and more.
"Along with its numerous partner organizations, OTS is committed to bringing new life to scrap tires, supporting the Ontario economy, local communities and the environment," said Horsman. "Because of the Used Tires Program we have been able to create the conditions to support the circular economy. By ensuring there was a consistent supply of scrap tires for Ontario recyclers, as well as investments into new manufacturing, we now have a new generation of recycled tire products available for consumers and businesses."
Every used tire in Ontario now has a longer life because of the more than $100 million of investment provided by OTS into Ontario's economy. This includes research and development and investments in new markets that have led to the creation of hundreds of jobs across the province.
The program continues to have a positive and lasting impact in communities across Ontario. For example, through OTS's Community Renewal Fund (CRF) grant program, a total of 60 projects have been awarded more than $1 million in funding for new and need-to-be-renewed public spaces, like playgrounds and fitness tracks. All of this encourages earth-friendly building and development, improves the lives of Ontarians and boosts the local economy.