California Assembly

California Assembly

On Aug. 31 the California Assembly has rejected a tire recycling bill supported by environmental groups but opposed by tire manufacturers and dealers. Bill 1239 would have established a new tire regulatory fee in the state and replaced a popular tire grant program with a new incentive program and it was voted down by the assembly Aug. 31 by a 34-34 party-line vote. As described by CAW, AB 1239 would have provided incentive payments to end-users of recycled tires to improve the state’s recycling rate. It also would have given the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) authority to add up to $1 to the state’s $1.75-per-tire scrap tire feel to cover the costs of regulating waste tires.

CAW said the bill would “help expand the state’s tire recycling infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gases, create jobs, and cut the statewide and local costs associated with tire cleanup.”

However, tire industry representatives were doubtful about the bill. They were supporting its goal of achieving a 75-percent recycling rate, but felt its definition of recycling was too restrictive. “They didn’t include tire-derived fuel in their definition of recycling, or exports of tires to other states or countries,” said Terry Leveille, president of Sacramento-based TL & Associates and legislative representative for the California Tire Dealers Association (CTDA). They also didn’t allow the use of tire-derived aggregate, except for projects involving methane gas collection.

Also, tire manufacturers and dealers like the current tire grant programs, which AB 1239 would have repealed, according to Mr. Leveille. The bill would have replaced grant programs with a tire incentive payment program that, starting in July 2018, would have made payments to manufacturers and contractors that used California waste tire feedstock and sold the resulting products to local agencies and the private sector, he said.

In a letter to the California Assembly, the CTDA said it believed that replacing the grant program with an incentive program would be a mistake. “The proposed incentive program has met with mixed success in several states and has been highly criticized in Canada, most recently in Ontario,” the association said.

Furthermore, it was questionable if CalRecycle could ever spend down its Tire Fund Balance after the incentive program was established, according to the CTDA. That fund reached an all-time high of $78 million on this past July 1, it said. The worst part of the bill, according to Mr. Leveille, was the new fee to pay for the incentive program. The current $1.75 fee is supposed to sunset in 2024, he said, but the wording of AB 1239 conceivably would have allowed CalRecycle to continue it in perpetuity, he said.

The wording of the bill would have allowed CalRecycle — after California had achieved three consecutive years of a 75-percent recycling rate — to recommend “which policies are necessary to maintain and increase the level of waste tire recycling,” according to Mr. Leveille.

Article source: Miles Moore, Tires Business