TIRE RECYCLING: Changes will see fees based on weight, rather than size
Farmers cry foul over skyrocketing fees
Farmers will be able to air their grievances about new tire recycling fees that will make costs skyrocket.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture was to meet Monday with representatives of the Ontario Tire Stewardship program, which charges fees on suppliers of new tires to pay for recycling.
Those fees, which used to be based on size and as of April 1 will be based on weight, are passed on to the consumer.
“The fee changes bring the revenue in line with the actual cost of recycling,” said Andrew Horseman, executive director of the stewardship program.
There are ways of keeping recycling fees low, such as using tires as fuel or putting ground rubber in landfills, but legislation in Ontario prevents those methods from being used, Horseman said.
The fee change has come under fire because the increase can hike the cost of a tire anywhere from $117 to $352, up from $15 a tire.
Most tires weigh between 70 kg and 120 kg and will cost $47, up from $15, Horseman said.
“The tires that will cost more than $300 are a minority,” he said.
The move has trained yet another spotlight on the Ontario government’s mishandling of rural issues, critics have charged.
The Ontario Tire Dealers Association is also fighting the move.
Horseman was hopeful Monday’s discussion would lead to a resolution.
“We’re not closed to finding a way to mitigate the impact on the end user,” he said.
“We’re not trying to ram this down anyone’s throat. We want to make sure that we have implemented these changes so they don’t disproportionally impact one group.”
The province has said it’s up to the stewardship program to set the fees. But the program is bound by legislation, Horesman said.
“Since February 2012, Ontario has been amending its used tire regulations and it specifies how we can allocate money and doesn’t give us the ability to phase in fees,” he said.
“We’re committed to coming up with a solution that might resemble a virtual phase-in. We’re willing to talk about it.”
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ONTARIO RECYCLING FEES
Before: $15.29: Front tire of harvester/combine.
April 1: $352.80
Other provinces: $24 to $210, for eight John Deere 9770 combine tires.
April 1: $1,646.40: What Tories say fees on the eight tires will cost here.