Understanding your responsibility to the environment is important.
The Ontario Automotive Recycling Association (OARA) hosted its annual conference and trade show from March 29 to March 30, 2019, at the Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale complex, just west of Toronto. The event delivered an opportunity to network, attend workshops and an on-site trade show, and enjoy live entertainment in the evening alongside a fundraiser for the OARA Scholarship Program.
OARA also held presentations on both days, with one presentation by Sarah Webb, Executive Director, YESS, who addressed tire recycling and disposal in Ontario. This talk was a much-anticipated seminar as it highlighted the importance of environmental compliance.
Webb began her presentation by comparing the previous Used Tires Program by Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) to the new Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) program that came into effect on January 1, 2019. While OTS was mandated to do business a certain way, IPR allows for a little flexibility that coincides with the changing markets, where companies could choose whom to partner with for their tire disposal needs. IPR also focuses on reaching a specific target every year, namely, the recovery of 85% of tires that are sold into markets – that will be about 14.5 million tires collected between January 1 and December 31 in 2019, which is more than OTS ever collected within a single year.
Webb then introduced her program called Yes Environmental Services & Solutions, or simply YESS, which is a new program that provides services for companies within the auto industry to meet its environmental compliance requirements. It offers services ranging from collection, hauling, processing, and reporting while tailoring specific services and solutions to fit its clients’ needs and budget. The program also focuses on educating its clients to understand better the Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) program and how to incorporate it into their business.
“[We are] a company who is more on the producer’s side, who is out there to set up a network and community around meeting compliance,” said Webb. “We understand that all businesses are different. We want to work with you, and not tell you how to do your job. In fact, we work so that the companies we work for can do their jobs. Your business is private, and we don’t need your information to collect your tires. We also understand that if we are not easy to work with, then you won’t work with us. You have a choice with whom you work now. Our goal is to make compliance easier for all stakeholders.”
She stressed the importance of registering with RPRA (Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority) to ensure that companies receive credit for the good work that they do. “It’s like getting your SIN number in the recycling industry. Without it, we can’t work with anybody. Everything you do gets tied back to that SIN number; that’s the basis of the program.”
Webb also briefly discussed how companies need to respect their tires. “We all have to be part of the community to make tires a valuable commodity and make this market work. So, don’t treat them like trash.” She mentioned three points:
- Takes the rims off the tires for recycling, so they don’t get stuck in the processing machinery;
- Keep the tires as clean as possible; and
- Keep the tires are dry as possible, so haulers don’t get penalized for dirty and wet tires.
Sarah Webb finished her presentation with a call to action, encouraging OARA members to:
- Register with RPRA;
- Register with YESS;
- Register their used Tires Sales for money;
- Make sure their hauler is a YESS hauler; and
- Share their challenges with YESS.