In response to widespread complaints by manufacturers, dealers and consumers, Ontario has frozen the so-called “eco-fees” that are used to finance the diversion of off-the-road (OTR) tires from disposal.
The move supports the government’s planned replacement of its current waste diversion approach with the new directions set out in its proposed Waste Reduction Act, 2013. Bill 91, which is currently undergoing Second Reading debate in the Ontario Legislature, will make individual packaging and producers responsible for the end-of-life management of their products.
On April 1, 2013, Ontario Tire Stewardship imposed new fees that ranged as high as $1,311 for OTR tires in the top weight class (over 1,200 kg). Fees for typical agriculture tires jumped from $15 to $353. The previous fees had been capped at $250 and most were well under $100. While these higher fees will remain in effect, they cannot be raised further until Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) reports back on the future of the OTR diversion program.
On November 29, the Ministry of the Environment amended O. Reg. 84/03 (Used Tires) under the Waste Diversion Act, 2002 to cap OTR fees at “2013 rates or lower” for the coming year. The Minister has also ordered WDO to report back no later than September 12, 2014 on the findings and recommendations of a multi-stakeholder advisory committee that will investigate cost-effective options for the reuse, recycling and diversion of OTR tires. WDO’s final report must also address “fairness in the marketplace,” consumer concerns over the design, operation, governance and costs of the OTR portion of the Used Tires Program, and enhanced consumer involvement in decision-making.