September 4, 2006

Newfoundland finalizes scrap tire recycling program

A new approach to Newfoundland and Labrador's scrap tire recycling program will provide alternatives based on two definitive business strategies. The options, outlined late last month by the province's Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) include a state-of-the-art tire recycling facility.

Following a public request for proposals issued last year, MMSB has entered into an agreement-in-principle with a Newfoundland and Labrador engineering company to establish a technology-based tire recycling plant which would produce high-value recycled products from scrap tires.

MMSB has given the company until October 31, 2006 to solidify the private investment it requires for the project, at which time a formal contract will be awarded by MMSB and full details of the venture announced publicly. If the company has not raised the required capital by that time, MMSB will proceed with its second option involving the processing of scrap tires into tire-derived aggregate (TDA) for use in civil engineering applications in the province. This alternative would be carried out under the direct control of MMSB, which would set up a TDA processing plant.

Meanwhile, the MMSB has contracted a Quebec-based recycling company to permanently dispose of an existing stockpile of approximately 460,000 scrap tires at Stephenville. This stockpile, it says, is not needed to support the business plan of its chosen technology-based venture. Moreover, adds the MMSB, the material was partially processed by the former operator of the tire recycling plant in Stephenville and is not in a condition suitable for reprocessing as TDA or other feasible, locally available applications. As well, the town of Stephenville now needs the building that housed the tire recycling plant for a potential new business enterprise. Removal of the stockpile will begin immediately and will be completed by the end of the calendar year.

The remaining two stockpiles of used tires at Placentia and Bull Arm, as well as scrap tires generated on a continuing basis on the island, will be recycled either through the technology-based venture or through the MMSB's TDA business strategy. There are approximately 750,000 used tires at the Placentia site and approximately 110,000 at the Bull Arm site. (The province generates some 450,000 scrap tires per year.)

The MMSB has been dealing with scrap tires generated in Labrador by means of short-term disposal contracts with Quebec-based recyclers. The Board intends to call for long-term proposals for this region soon.

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