From the Centre: Tire fees come back to Creston Valley

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Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.

As we struggle to reach some serious summer, we also head into camp season for the kids. Current trends indicate a greater interest in camp-type programs with the defined start and finish in a short period that frees up more time to spend a whole bunch of money on gas to go somewhere else and feed the swarms of mosquitoes by a lake or stream. Trust me, I know. The camps themselves that we offer are pretty cool, targeting three years old and up. When you check out our leisure guide or go online to www.rdck.bc.ca/creston, you will find everything from Zumbatomic, kung fu, soccer, creative art, discovery science, drama, our super-popular Sweaty Boys Sports Camp and Girl Power, right through to fitness with Bootcamp Extreme. Come camp with us!

We got a bit of good news the other day — our application for a grant from the Tire Stewardship BC organization (TSBC) was approved which will cover approximately half the cost of the arena lobby flooring. TSBC is a not-for-profit society formed to manage B.C.’s tire recycling program. The program collects an advance disposal fee, commonly referred to as an eco fee, on the sale of every new tire. The fees are used to pay for transporting and recycling B.C.-generated scrap tires ensuring that the tires are disposed of in environmentally responsible ways instead of ending up in our landfills.

I’m probably the same as you — when you get new tires, there’s all these little charges tacked on that make you clench your teeth, one of them being the eco fee. Well, guess what — when I looked into what TSBC is doing with tire recycling, it actually makes me feel good that some small part of my eco fee will be transformed into the floor I am walking on in the arena lobby. Or, as the Town of Creston has done, used the grant to apply a soft rubber surface to the splash park at Centennial Park.

If you have a bit of time, check out the TSBC website at www.tirestewardship.bc.ca and learn a bit about what happens when the rubber no longer hits the road. In B.C. in 2006, industry-led product stewardship was a government strategy to place the responsibility for end-of-life product management on the producer and consumers of a product and not the general taxpayer or local government. Subsequently, Tire Stewardship BC, a not-for-profit society, formed to accept responsibility for the provincial scrap tire recycling program, replacing the government-run program that had been in place since 1991.

Where else might you run across your radials? Over 80 per cent of the scrap tires collected are recycled into products. Most are recycled into crumb rubber, which are granules of rubber with the steel and fibre removed. Crumb is then used to create a variety of products including athletic tracks and synthetic turf fields, non-slip pavers for patios, walkways and playgrounds, colourful resilient flooring in recreational facilities, flooring and mats for agricultural and industrial use, and asphalt rubber. In addition to crumb-based products, many highway truck tires are made into mats used in the construction industry as blast mats or in the oil and gas industry as temporary road mats. The remaining 20 per cent of scrap tires collected are used as a fuel supplement in the cement and pulp and paper industries. It is also good to know that 100 per cent of the fees collected are used for the tire recycling program. Once we get it installed, and considering the millions of kilometres of travel, it will bring new meaning to “If this floor could talk…”

Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.

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