Many Ontario residents lack specific knowledge on tire recycling

OAKVILLE, Ontario — Just under a third of Ontario residents understand their tires are recycled, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by eTracks Tire Management Systems, shows that just 37% of those asked understood tire recycling and 49% were not sure if tires were recycled or thrown away.

A total of 14% of Ontarians mistakenly believe tires are not recycled, and just 32% understand they are recycled.

“Regardless of some of these knowledge gaps and myths, it’s encouraging to know Ontarians want to help the environment,” CEO Steve Meldrum of eTracks Tire Management Systems said in a statement.

“And while the survey shows that knowledge of the tire recycling industry is mixed, there’s an opportunity to use these results as a tool to change perceptions and help eliminate misinformation.”

More than half of those surveyed, 55%, do not realize there is a tire recycling fee of approximately $4 per tire to fund jobs and services in the tire recycling industry. Only 25% are aware of the fee and its purpose, and 20% know about the fee, but do not know how the money is used.

The survey also sought to examine consumer knowledge about end uses for recycled tires.

A total of 63% said they know there are commercial and consumer uses for recycled tires, while 70% said they know scrap tires can be used on playgrounds and sports fields. Only 18% know garden mulch is another outlet.

Just 28% of those surveyed said they intentionally have purchased a product made from recycled tires, despite the fact that 83% said they understand recycling tires into new products helps with climate change and 69% said they believe products made from recycled tire have high quality.

The online survey included 1,000 Ontario residents and was conducted between July 31 and Aug. 4 for eTracks Tire Management Systems, a producer responsibility program created by the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada.