BC consumers pay highest recycling fees in country to burn tires

British Columbia is charging residents the highest tire recycling eco-fees in Canada, and BC consumers’ tax dollars are being used to pay for tire burning as part of the province’s recycling program.

BC NDP government turns back on affordability and environmental agenda

Vancouver, BC – British Columbia is charging residents the highest tire recycling eco-fees in Canada, and BC consumers’ tax dollars are being used to pay for tire burning as part of the province’s recycling program.

Tire Stewardship BC (TSBC) took over tire recycling responsibilities in 2007 as part of BC’s move to have the private sector administer product recycling in BC. The results, however, are a closed shop that acts against the interests of community environmental health and the pocketbooks of hard working British Columbians.

Unlike Alberta and Ontario, which sources services from a range of tire processors to keep fees low, BC has engaged only two companies for the past 11 years. With all other provinces charging tire-eco fees that are up to 40% cheaper, the BC government’s inaction is betraying their electoral platform of affordability for average British Columbians.

Further, in spite of the US Environmental Protection Agency refusing to classify the practice of burning scrap tires as recycling, TSBC deems the practice an acceptable risk. This makes little sense, as the Ministry of Environment, which provides TSBC with a permit for the practice, states that “Burning for disposal purposes alone should be considered as a last resort…”

This is largely due to the bioaccumulating toxins such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (“PAHs”), dioxins, furans as well as heavy metals produced as a result. When released into the atmosphere, these emissions are causally linked to skin, lung, bladder, liver and stomach cancer following human exposure.

In response to the BC governments’ inaction, a new grassroots coalition – The Tire Eco-Fee Consumer Protection Coalition (TEFCPC) – has launched a public awareness campaign on BC’s tire recycling regime.

The TEFCPC is asking for a re-examination of the exclusive Tire Stewardship BC program to recycle tires in the province. Changes are required to not only protect the health of all British Columbians, but also their wallets.

For more information, please visit tirefeefairness.ca, or follow the campaign’s Twitter feed and Facebook page.