Mississauga, Ontario – In a speech delivered at the Waste Diversion Ontario Annual General Meeting today the Ontario Minister of the Environment, the Honorable John Gerretsen, announced the approval of the Ontario Used Tire Program Plan, launching the most ambitious used tire stewardship program in the country.

The Used Tire Program Plan will implement a managed scrap tire solution for On-road and Off-road tires supplied into the Ontario market, diverting these tires away from burning and landfilling to 3R’s processing that will see them reused and recycled into tire derived products (TDPs) such as under-the-hood automotive products, flooring, sports fields, play ground surfaces and construction-related equipment and materials.

The program is funded by Brand Owners and First Importers of tires supplied into the Ontario market, including tire manufacturers, retailers and vehicle manufacturers, who remit a Tire Stewardship Fee (TSF) to OTS for every tire supplied into the Province. These fees will be used by OTS to operate the Used Tire program, including the collection, transporting and processing costs of used tires, including those in stockpiles.

The program will manage all 12 million tires sold in Ontario annually, and will track the tires from collection at over 10,000 points across the province to their sale as tire-derived products, and includes an aggressive three year plan to eliminate the approximately 2.8 million stockpiled tires in 90 sites across Ontario.

“We are pleased with the Minister’s decision to approve the Used Tires Program Plan.” said Glenn Maidment, President of the Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) Board, “We are very pleased to see the tire industry showing leadership on this important issue by accepting responsibility for end-of-life management of used tires. In approving the Plan, the Minister facilitates significant investment in Ontario businesses handling used tires in environmentally-beneficial ways, creating jobs and a green economy for future generations of Ontarians.”

In the first year the program will inject over $22 million into the Ontario-based scrap tire processing industry, supporting Ontario-based processors as they invest in their businesses to increase capacity, adopt new scrap tire processing technologies, and create new “green” jobs in the Province.

With today’s approval OTS will be moving forward to implement the Used Tire program, with September 1st 2009 being the official launch date. For more information on the Used Tire program, or to submit questions on the program, visit www.ontariotirestewardship.org.

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