Trends in B.C. Scrap Tire Recycling through Industry-led Product Stewardship (1991-2011)

  • Since 2007, over 190,000 tonnes of scrap tires have been diverted from landfills and the environment.
  • 190,000 tonnes of scrap tires is equivalent to about 19 million scrap car tires (1 tonne ≈ 100 passenger-sized car tires).
  • The number of scrap tires entering the recycling stream has declined slightly in the past few years, reflecting the increased number of ‘in-use’ tires—for example snow tires in storage and lengthened road life of tires.
  • Since 2000, 75% of all processed scrap tires have been recycled into crumb rubber to manufacture new products, such as playground surfaces, turf fields, running tracks, and landscape mulch. The remaining 25% were used for energy recovery (e.g. industrial process fuel supplement).
  • 98% of B.C. scrap tires are processed in British Columbia.
  • The industry-led tire recycling program supports the equivalent of 122 full-time jobs in B.C.1
Chart showing the amount in tonnes of scrap tires captured, scrap tires recycled and scrap tires used for energy recovery.

Notes About the Chart:

  • The 1991-1992 reporting numbers reflect the first 9 months (June 1991 to March 1992) of the B.C. tire recycling program.
  • In some years, the amount of processed tires exceeded the amount of collected tires because tires temporarily stored from previous collection years were also recycled or used for energy recovery in that year.
  • The reporting numbers for 2006-2007 reflect only the final 9 months of 2006 due to the transition from the government run FIRST program to the industry-led product stewardship model.
  • Sources: Tire Stewardship BC and B.C. Ministry of Environment
  • The R code for creating the graph presented on this page is available on GitHub.

A short history of the B.C. scrap tire recycling program:

1991 The B.C. government launched the first tire recycling program, Financial Incentives for Recycling Scrap Tires (FIRST) in North America.
1997 Industry-led Product Stewardship programs began in B.C. Industry-led Product Stewardship is a government strategy to place the responsibility for end of life product management on the producer and consumers of a product and not the general taxpayer or local government.
2006 B.C. Ministry of Environment added tires to the Recycling Regulation.
2007 Tire Stewardship BC, a not for profit society, launched the new scrap tire recycling program replacing the government-run program that had been in place since 1991.
2011 B.C.'s tire recycling program, through Industry-led product stewardship, reached its 20th birthday.

References and Other Useful Links


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Updated November 2012

Suggested Citation: Environmental Reporting BC. 2012. Trends in B.C. Scrap Tire Recycling through Industry-led Product Stewardship (1991-2011). State of Environment Reporting, Ministry of Environment, British Columbia, Canada.