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Recycle-Smart Canadians Re-Purpose Over 50 million Tires

Who knew old tires could be this much fun?

Carolyn Cooke, Surrey Now

Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ever wonder happens to your old tires?

Thanks to Tire Stewardship B.C.’s Return to Retailer program, 50 million tires have been diverted from landfills and recycled into innovative uses: playgrounds, pasture mats, artificial turf fields and more.

A number of local tire dealers have contributed to this landmark. Midway Tire on 72nd Avenue in Surrey collected more than 1,000 old tires last year alone. On average, this one location takes in about used 20 tires a week to be recycled, said Yolanda Court, the assistant manager.

Nine times out of 10, she said, when people come in, the old tires are so worn they can’t be kept as a spare, and so those go into the recycle pile.

When people buy new tires, an advance tire disposal fee is charged, and that money goes to keep old tires out of landfills and remade into new products.

Tire Stewardship B.C. is a not-for-profit society that in 2007 took responsibility for the province’s tire recycling program, which was introduced in 1991.

“British Columbians are already recognized nationally and internationally for their environmental leadership,” said Mike Hennessy, executive director of Tire Stewardship B.C.

“But this landmark is not only a testament to the success of our recycling program, but also of British Columbia’s commitment to keeping their province clean.”

The year-round disposal service allows customers to drop off a maximum of four clean, off-rim passenger and light truck tires to participating businesses.

Anyone who has more scrap tires than that should contact Tire Stewardship directly. (See for more info.)

More than 80 per cent of the 40,000 tonnes of scrap tires collected in B.C. each year are recycled into products. The remainder is used as a fuel supplement.

Some unique uses for crumb rubber produced from recycled tires include “pour in place” rubber playground surfacing, synthetic turf fields, recreational facility flooring, flooring and mats for agricultural or industrial uses, asphalt rubber and more.


This week is National Be Tire Smart Week and according to Natural Resources Canada, under-inflated tires cause drivers to burn an extra 643 million litres of fuel each year.

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