On Our Radar: When will the stockpiled tires disappear from Placentia?

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Over 1.1 million tires are stockpiled at a site in Placentia and will continue to sit there unused until at least 2009.

May 2001

    The Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) issues a call for proposals to operate a waste tire management program for the province. It says more than 500,000 tires are scrapped annually in Newfoundland and Labrador.

February 2002

    In February, Municipal Recyclers Inc. is awarded a five-year tire-recycling contract. The company withdraws its services three months later because the cost of implementation is too high. In June, MMSB issues a new call for proposals. It suggests a tire-recycling program could be in place as early as next fall. Newfoundland Envirotire Shreds Inc. is awarded the second tire-recycling program contract in August.

December 2002

    The auditor general notes that MMSB advised Liberal Environment Minister Kevin Aylward not to award the contract to Newfoundland Envirotire Shreds Inc. John Noseworthy also notes that the government offered no explanation to MMSB about why its concerns about awarding the contract to a company with no direct tire-recycling experience were not addressed.

February 2003

    Newfoundland Envirotire Shreds says it failed to meet its startup deadline because it’s still waiting on shredding equipment to arrive from the United States.

June 2004

    Newfoundland Envirotire Shreds withdraws its services, citing a soft market for shredded product. MMSB announces what it calls a short-term plan to deal with the stockpile of used tires in the province. That plan will see tires eventually moved to privately owned and managed yards, including one in Placentia. The province spent $1.2 million over the course of a 19-month period.

March 2005

    MMSB announces a new tire-recycling plan that will split up collection and recycling duties. According to a story published at the time, most of the 1.3-million stockpiled tires are being stored in Placentia. Documents indicate MMSB has spent more than $1.1 million to collect and move tires since last June. A new call for proposals is issued by the end of the month. MMSB elects to permanently handle collection duties. By August, MMSB says it has eight proposals to evaluate, paying extra attention to two in particular.

August 2006

    A private engineering firm in St. John’s is given until the end of October to find the funds necessary for a tire-recycling plan that would involve building a new facility. If that does not come to fruition, MMSB says it will build its own processing plant. In November, MMSB says the private engineering firm has reached “an agreement-in principle” with investors, with a final agreement unlikely until 2007.

January 2008

    Documents obtained by The Telegram indicate a decision will not be made until at least 2009. MMSB says the delay will cost a minimum of $500,000. The company previously cited to have a plan to build a facility had asked for an extension until mid-September 2007. That request was denied.

January 2009

    Auditor general Noseworthy says MMSB is not a proactive organization. He says it is not collecting enough tires in the province. Information indicates there were 1.2-million tires stockpiled in Placentia as of March 2008.

May 2010

    Progressive Conservative Environment Minister Charlene Johnson announces that tires are being sent to a Quebec company that burns them for fuel. She says the province is considering two recycling proposals and that she hopes to make an announcement “within a couple of months.” The number of tires stockpiled in Placentia is now said to be 1.9 million. It costs approximately $800,000 annually to stockpile them, while MMSB receives approximately $900,000 annually through tire levy fees.

September 2013

    MMSB continues to ship used tires to Quebec, where they are used to fuel cement kilns. That move reportedly lessens a reliance on carbon-emitting heat sources such as coal. The organization reports that 65 per cent of the tires stockpiled in Placentia have been shipped to Quebec, totalling 676 loads of baled tires. MMSB estimates the Placentia stockpile will cease to exist by March.

The Telegram has been following this story for 12 years and 3 months

What we want to know:

When will the stockpiled tires disappear from Placentia?



Who has the answer:

Multi-Materials Stewardship Board

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 8131, Station A

St. John’s, NL

A1B 3M9

Phone: 709-753 0948

Toll-free: 1-800-901-MMSB

Fax: 709-753-0974

Organizations: Newfoundland Envirotire Shreds, The Multi-Materials Stewardship Board, Municipal Recyclers The Telegram

Geographic location: Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec

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