Currently, fees are charged to dispose of tires. This places the financial burden and responsibility of proper disposal on the consumer. This is a recipe for illegal dumping.
The best solution is for tire manufacturers to take more responsibility for the proper recycling and reuse of waste tires they generate. We advocate for widespread Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs, which lead to free, easy disposal of tires and eliminate or reduce the incentive for illegal dumping. EPR programs have been successful across the country and the world to turn waste into a reusable commodity. These programs also include advanced market development, which can increase the value of post-consumer materials and provide opportunities for economic development.
With producer-provided cost-internalized funding, EPR offers an effective, sustainable financing system that can increase the collection and recycling of leftover tires, reduce government and overall costs of tire management, encourage market development for scrap tire material, and lessen environmental impacts.
While the U.S. does not yet have a legislated EPR program for tires, such programs have been successfully operating in Canada since 2007. Both Connecticut and Vermont have introduced tire EPR bills in recent years. In Connecticut, business has told policymakers that they would like to relocate to the state if they create a product stewardship policy in Connecticut. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection did a study on scrap tire management in Connecticut that included investigation of management strategies and determined that a producer responsibility program would meet its scrap tire management needs.
Tire companies have also pursued voluntary product stewardship initiatives to lessen the environmental and public health impacts of their products. Bridgestone, for example, recycles one tire for every tire sold in the U.S. through its One Team, One Planet program.
Read more about Tire EPR via the Product Stewardship Institute.