The $5 recycling fee on all new tyres of less than 60 cm in diameter helps cover the cost of shipping them south for recycling once they’ve outlived their usefulness. The fee apparently has not been increased since it was first introduced in 2003. A fee most Yukon vehicle owners pay at least four times — sometimes eight if you count summer and winter tyres — could soon be increased.
The fee isn’t covering the cost of shipping tires from remote communities, says Dwayne Muckosky of Yukon’s Department of Community Services.
“When we start collecting tyres from the communities, the costs do go up,” he said. “It’s a very labour-intensive process to collect the tyres.”
The government of Yukon is now holding consultations about the idea of raising the fee.
“Overwhelmingly, Yukoners are supportive of revisiting those fees,” Muckosky said.
Along with an increase to the basic $5 recycling fee, the government might also start applying it to larger tyres that are currently exempt, such as those on commercial trucks.
“There are tyres that we have collected at many of our landfills for which there was no recycling fee collected by the Yukon government,” said Muckosky.
Yukon collects around 40,000 tyres each year for recycling. This year, an estimated 56,000 tyres will be shipped south.
Muckosky says the territory will look at shredding tires to allow more to fit inside the trucks transporting them to recycling facilities as a way to reduce costs.
The territory is also looking for ideas for how it could use old tires locally though Muckosky says it would be cost-prohibitive to build a recycling site in Yukon.