N.S. eyes environmental fee for tractor tires

Nova Scotia’s government is considering adding a “modest” environmental fee on the sale of new farm tractor tires, as part of a broader plan to cut back the amount of junk now headed to landfills.

In a discussion paper released Tuesday on solid waste regulation, the province suggests expanding its current regulatory definition of “tires” to include off-the-road (OTR) tires such as those for tractors, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and mining equipment.

Regulations already require a one-time environmental fee to be paid on the sale of new tires for passenger vehicles in Nova Scotia. The fee “supports the collection and processing of used tires,” the province said in its discussion paper.

“Changing the regulation to include more tires within the definition would divert more tires, provide industry with more options for diversion, reduce illegal dumping, and improve the cost effectiveness of the used tire program in Nova Scotia,” the province said.

The proposal would harmonize Nova Scotia’s regulations with those in other provinces, where such tires are already included in “diversion programs,” the province said.

A dollar amount wasn’t suggested for the proposed fee, which would be added to the price of tires at point of sale. Off-road tires would then be incorporated into the province’s used tire management program.

The province’s environment ministry is accepting comments on the discussion paper until July 11.

“The proposed changes are intended to build on our past success while meeting our mandate to divert even more products for reuse and recycling,” Environment Minister Randy Delorey said in a release Tuesday.

Other proposed changes would see items including domestic pesticides, batteries, vehicle fluid products, oil, oil filters, paint, pharmaceuticals and sharps such as syringes and electronic waste including printers and photocopiers banned from disposal in landfills.

The paper also suggests expanding the regulatory definition of “incinerators” to include technologies for energy recovery from treatment of municipal waste that weren’t viable or didn’t exist when current regulations were drafted in 1997.

Such a change would ensure environmental protection measures are in place and Nova Scotia’s disposal bans “would apply to all of these new technologies when they are employed to process mixed municipal solid waste,” the province said. — AGCanada.com Network

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