Tire recycling change in B.C. inflates costs

The cost of new tires is about to go up in B.C. as the province turns over responsibility for rubber recycling to the industry.

The tire recycling program began in 1991, when the government moved to deal with the more than three million tires that are scrapped each year.

Consumers now pay $3 a tire. That’s going up to $4 for passenger vehicles, and up from $3 to $9 for commercial truck tires, said Glenn Maidment, president of the Rubber Association of Canada.

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“Our fee structure will change so that it’s more reflective of the cost to recycle that tire. A commercial truck tire weighs about five times [that of] a small tire.”

Even though trucking companies are being hardest hit by the change, Louise Yako of the B.C. Trucking Association said her members understand why the fees are changing.

“There was some discrepancy in terms of who should pay, and there was some cross-subsidization by passenger car owners, so we expected this change to occur at some point.”

Maidment said the changes put B.C. in line with Alberta and Saskatchewan that have had industry-run recycling programs for the past several years.

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