Nova Sco­tia un­der fire af­ter ap­prov­ing tire-burn­ing pi­lot project in Brook­field

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC - BY MICHAEL TUTTON

Nova Sco­tia is shift­ing from re­cy­cling tires to burn­ing them, prompt­ing anger from en­vi­ron­men­tal groups and a com­pany that has in­vested $5 mil­lion to find fresh uses for the scrap rub­ber.

The province an­nounced Thurs­day it’s go­ing to pay LaFarge Canada about $105 per tonne - up to about $2,100 daily - in a one-year pi­lot project that will burn the tires to make cement in the com­pany’s Brook­field plant.

Mike Chas­sie, the vice-pres­i­dent of C and D Re­cy­cling, said his Hal­i­fax firm is los­ing a third of its sup­ply of about one mil­lion tires an­nu­ally.

He says over time that could dev­as­tate an in­dus­try ded­i­cated to turn­ing the rub­ber into con­struc­tion fill.

“This is hugely dis­ap­point­ing for the en­tire re­cy­cling in­dus­try in Nova Sco­tia. This will di­rectly af­fect the tire re­cy­cling in­dus­try and could kill it,” he said in an in­ter­view.

The reg­u­la­tory ap­proval of the pi­lot project was an­nounced by Iain Rankin, the Lib­eral min­is­ter of the en­vi­ron­ment, who de­fended it as a good way to re­duce the use of coal at the fac­tory about 14 kilo­me­tres south of Truro.

“It’s di­ver­sion. It’s en­ergy re­cov­ery. The com­pany is us­ing it as a re­place­ment for coal they’re cur­rently us­ing. You’ll see a re­duc­tion in car­bon emis­sions,” he said.

Di­vert NS, the agency that chooses com­pa­nies for waste di­ver­sion, of­fered an emailed state­ment say­ing it re­mained “proud of Nova Sco­tia’s cul­ture of re­cy­cling.”

It said burn­ing tires is an ac­cepted tech­nol­ogy around the world, and noted that it has to pay Chas­sie’s firm about $200 per met­ric tonne - close to dou­ble the burn­ing fee.

Mark But­ler, the di­rec­tor of the Ecol­ogy Ac­tion Cen­tre, said he was baf­fled by the province’s ap­proval of the project.

He said there are few en­vi­ron­men­tal prin­ci­ples more ba­sic than the one that re­cy­cling should be pre­ferred over in­cin­er­at­ing plas­tic or rub­ber.

In ad­di­tion, he said if the tires were in­stead used un­der roads or other fill, they have the po­ten­tial to be re-used again decades from now.

“I’m dumb­founded. Usu­ally we’re told we have to do some­thing be­cause there are jobs. This time I thought we had jobs on our side, we had sci­ence on our side,” he said.

“Yet the gov­ern­ment seems to choose the in­ter­ests of a large cor­po­ra­tion over some Nova Sco­tia-based busi­nesses ... and our con­cerns.”

When Nova Sco­tians pur­chase tires, they pay an en­vi­ron­men­tal fee of $4.50 for a reg­u­lar new tire, while truck tires have a fee of $13.50.

CHRON­I­CLE-HER­ALD

Tires go up con­veyer head­ing for burn­ing at the Lafarge Canada plant where the com­pany plans to use dis­carded tires to fuel its kiln in Brook­field, N.S.

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