Has Prince Edward Island solved the problem of tyre recycling?
Calls to End Tyre Tax on Prince Edward Island
In almost every country in the world, end of life tyres have a cost to recycle. This cost is met by a gate fee, which is either paid for by the industry and its customers in a free market, or, it is paid for in a tax on new tyres, or a tax on old tyres.
If you take away the gate fee, most tyre recycling operations would fail because there is currently insufficient demand for recycled rubber products – which is why many countries export to the few markets, such as India and Pakistan, where there is a demand for tyres and processors will pay to acquire tyres.
Canada’s Prince Edward Island (P.E.I) has long struggled with its tyre arisings, having to ship them out to Quebec for recycling. The cost of this shipping was met with through a tax on new tyres.
The charge is $4 per new tyre with a rim size of 17 inches or less, and $11.25 per tyre with a rim size greater than that.
However, P.E.I now has its own tyre recycling capacity and Liberals in the province’s legislature are questioning the need for the tyre tax.
The opposition Liberals say now that used tires are recycled on P.E.I., the province should not be charging a tyre tax for recycling them. (Tony Davis/CBC)
The Liberals say that the tax is no longer needed because the work is being done on P.E.I.
Finance Minister Darlene Compton says the programme that is shredding tyres on-Island is a pilot project and she wants to make sure it is viable before she will look at dropping the tax.
Compton said she would like to see the programme operate for the next year or so.
"The taxes that we charge go back into government programs and services and we want to ensure that the tyres that are on the road are looked after when it is time for them to be put aside," Compton said from the floor of the P.E.I. Legislature.
"We will definitely take into consideration the tax being paid by Islanders."
Transportation Minister Steven Myers says the province purchases the shredded tyres to help build new roads.
The province said it is not only saving money on the pickup and shredding of tyres, but also money on the finished product.
The shredded tyres replace class D gravel, the gravel used for the base of new roads.
"I think it's 60 per cent cheaper than gravel, notwithstanding the fact that we don't import it either," Myers said in June.
Comment: So, it looks like P.E.I has found the solution to tyre disposal. It simply buys the shred and builds roads. What happens when they run out of roads to build?