Farmers and other industries in rural Ontario will face increases – by as much as 2,200 per cent – as the provincial government has drastically increased tire recycling fees.
Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith says the new round of eco-fee increases sees a front tire on a combine jump from just over $15 to more than $352. A loader tire that currently costs $104 will quadruple in price to $546.48 per tire.
The new fees will be based on the weight of the tire at time of purchase not at the end of the tire life, when a minimum of 25 per cent of the weight has been removed due to wear and tear.
“This is a cash-grab,” Smith charged. “It’s a tire tax from a government that continues to look to rural Ontario to pay the bills for the needs of the GTA. Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS), an organization with government-sanctioned monopoly control over recycling tires in the province, has run annual deficits as much as $8 million on off-the-road tires ever since the Ontario Liberals created the program in 2009.”
The off-the-road category includes tires that are used for dump trucks, tractors and log skidders.
“The Liberal government and its toothless watchdog, Waste Diversion Ontario, stood by for years as its recycling program for off-the-road tires went bankrupt,” Environment Critic Michael Harris said. “Now, the Environment Minister has decided the best way to sweep this financial mess under the rug is to force hardworking farmers, along with construction, forestry and mining companies to pay the bill.”
Ontario’s official opposition by contrast, wants to hold manufacturers and importers of tires responsible for recycling, with the freedom to work with other businesses to find the best way possible to carry out that responsibility.
“We understand that if companies assume responsibility for diverting waste from our landfills as a cost of doing business, they also need to manage it as part of their business,” Harris said. “Government needs to return to its role as a regulator. That means instead of setting and approving eco-fees, it should set measurable
and achievable waste diversion targets and establish environmental standards and monitor outcomes. That’s it.”
The OTS states it is changing the fee structure to fully cover the cost of recycling and support its programs.
The OTS website states the Used Tires Program is funded by a fee collected by OTS from stewards – tire manufacturers and first importers of new tires in Ontario. The fee, which is set in consultation with the stewards, covers the costs of managing used tires to prevent them from ending up in landfills or being burned. The fee may be absorbed by stewards, but is often passed along to the purchasers of new tires.
Filed Under: Local News
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