Before the implementation of the program, many of these tires ended up in landfills across the province or accumulated into tire piles, which pose serious environmental and safety risks. Through the Used Tires Program, 100 percent of scrap tires generated in Ontario are recycled into high-value, sustainable products, and no tires are burned, disposed of in landfills or are illegally dumped, according to OTS.
"Since its inception, the Used Tires Program has accomplished a number of things, chief among them, the waste diversion rate," says Andrew Horsman, executive director of OTS. "This milestone would not have been possible without the help of Ontarians across the province and the commitment of our industry partners."
OTS's network of more than 700 stewards, 7,000 collectors, almost 100 haulers and group of 30 processors and recycled product manufacturers are now redesigning the tires 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," says 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, the organization says. This includes research and development and investments in new markets that have led to the creation of hundreds of jobs across the province.
Through OTS's Community Renewal Fund (CRF) grant program, a total of 60 projects have been awarded over $1 million in funding for new and need-to-be-renewed public spaces, like playgrounds and fitness tracks. The projects encourage earth-friendly building and development, improves the lives of Ontarians and boosts the local economy.
OTS says it is committed to ensuring all tires in the province of Ontario are responsibly recycled and successfully diverted from landfills. For more information on OTS and where to find a registered tire collector , visit rethinktires.ca or download the ReThinkTires app from the App Store and Google Play.