All TIREd out……but somewhere to go!

Photo by brennaval |

Winter is upon us. A blanket of snow has begun to cover the landscape and colder temperatures have employed our thermometers with below-zero jobs. This not only means that we should begin bundling up with sweaters and scarves but we should also equip our vehicles with winter tires. I took my car in a couple of weeks ago to get it tuned up for winter. While chatting with the mechanic, I learned about a very unique program that recycles tires responsibly. It’s called the Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) program and its purpose is to utilize a planet-friendly design to recycle scrap tires in Ontario.

The OTS is an industry-funded initiative that has crafted ‘The Used Tires Program’ into a reality in Ontario. The program manages over 12 million tires annually—diverting them away from landfilling and burning and toward recycling and reusing. They take old/scrap tires and reprocess them into new green products such as playground equipment (eg: swings), hockey rinks, household products (eg: floor mats, mouse pads, hoses) and rubber automotive parts.

In addition to recycling on-road and off-road used tires, this program has a goal to benefit the entire province environmentally and economically. The process of removing tire stockpiles and generating household, commercial, and automotive products will not only help to reduce our garbage output, but it will also create profitable benefits (eg: new green jobs) in Ontario.      

Where do I take my old tires?

The OTS program includes a large network of registered locations that enable Ontarians to recycle their tires easily. These locations will accept tires from your car, industrial vehicles, farm equipment, and even those old tires that have been waiting in your garage or backyard for years.  Registered collectors will accept up to 4 used tires per person without you having to make a purchase or pay a processing fee. 

Which tires are included in the program?

On-road vehicles:

  • Passenger tires, RV/trailer tires, light truck tires, temporary spares
  • Motorcycle, golf cart tires
  • Small utility tires
  • Free-rolling farm tires

Off-road vehicles:

  • Agricultural drive and logger skidder tires
  • Forklift tires, construction equipment tires
  • Other small, medium, large, giant off-road tires

How much will it cost me?

The tire disposal fee was removed on September 1, 2009. Thus, there will be no charge issued if you drop off your used or scrap tires to a registered location.

How do I locate a registered collection site?

Please log onto for more information about the tire recycling program in Ontario.

With an aggressive plan and sky-high goals, this program aims to shape our province into a well-carved example of how we should make long-term, sustainable decisions. There are many programs that offer really great alternatives to traditional disposal methods, so run a little search for yourself!

And remember, no matter how TIREd you may get with the environmental state of our planet, there is always something to gain, some way to learn, and somewhere to go.