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A crumb rubber manufacturing firm has launched a legal petition claiming that B.C. government provides unjust “monopoly” for used-tire recycling scheme, and it has high eco fees and poses threat to environment.

The firm, Crumb Rubber Manufacturers Inc. produces rubber products from used tires such as playground mulch, sports playgrounds and asphalt. From 2014, the company has been attempting to get into B.C. market, but faced failures due to repetitive rejection by Tire Stewardship B.C., an organization responsible for operation of the tire-recycling program in the province.

The program launched in 2007, outlines that two processors only have the right to function as tire recyclers in B.C. Both firms have inducement from TSBC to reprocess and burn tires (TDF). The two companies are: Lehigh Northwest Cement practicing burning of tires for fuel – an act that is described by petition as detrimental to environment; Western Rubber Products produces crumb rubber and colored landscaping mulch out of tires.

In March, the legal petition was filed in B.C. Supreme Court against TSBC, the Ministry of Environment and director of waste management; the document argues the selection of firms was done without official application procedure.

The petition says that the existing administration, with inclusion of 2014 moratorium on new recyclers, has resulted in a government-sanctioned or accepted business monopoly, in which both firms get unreasonable rates from the public, though they are not operating in an environmentally friendly way.

The document also claims, the high eco fees for buyers come as result of the absence of competition.

Crumb Rubber Manufacturers expressed their plan in the petition – the company aims to set a $10-million-to-$ 15-million facility for tire-recycling that has potential to create 50 workplaces. The company claimed it would be capable of completing their plans in case of lowering of eco fees to 3$.

According to the petition, no authentic proof was available as for the economics of the B.C. tire-recycling market and that it would provide support solely for a single value-added tire processor.

The document stated, since 2009, Ontario (CRM functions there as well) has decreased eco fees from $5.88 to $3.30, given that it includes 13 registered recyclers managing 12 million passenger-tire equivalents. Meanwhile, 3.8 million passenger-tire equivalents are processed each year by B.C. and it takes 5$ per tire for passenger transport. $20.2 million eco fees were raised by TSBC in 2015.

According to CRM, it had made an unsuccessful appeal to director of waste management and to the environment minister, who are both named in the petition, asking to upturn TSBC’s verdict.

TSBC legal representative, Richard Margetts, stated that companies, Lehigh Cement and Western Rubber, was granted the right for processing already in time when TSBC had only been getting accountability to run the recycling program from the province in 2007.

Margetts said that the moratorium was taken because the program’s overall stability could be undermined by new competitors, and there is no sharp demand for other processors, as believed by the association.

The representative of TSBC stated that previous failed processors have been responsible for the troubles, such as waste management costs increase; and TSBC’s goal was to guarantee the operation of an efficient program all over the province, thus it has had to engage only with a limited group of processor to produce general benefit.

A response from TSBC is planned to be filed during several weeks. The claims that the petition makes, haven’t been confirmed by court.

Article source: Calgary Herald