The Ontario Tire Stewardship last year collected 140,000 tonnes of tires. When you buy a set of tires for your car, you pay a $3.55 eco fee for each tire; that money trickles down to the stewardship for recycling programs.
Ontario’s multimillion-dollar tire recycling system is rife with problems that invite “manipulation” of large sums of money collected from consumer eco fees, an audit has found.
“The current system appears to us, from what we saw so far, to be loose, and too inviting for manipulation,” according to an audit into the adequacy of financial controls at the provincially created agency.
“The dollars are too large not to receive priority attention.”
According to the report, the Ontario Tire Stewardship has limited control and oversight of the $70 million in eco fees contributed annually by consumers who pay recycling fees each time a new set of car or truck tires is purchased.
But the organization that oversees the stewardship on behalf of the province says the audit did not go far enough. Waste Diversion Ontario wants a full “forensic” audit of the stewardship.
Accountability and transparency of consumer money — and these are significant sums of money — is imperative,” said Michael Scott, CEO of Waste Diversion Ontario, which oversees all provincial recycling programs including those for electronic and household hazardous waste. The eco fees contributed by the public are supposed to be used to properly recycle waste.
The 22-page audit, done by Toronto firm Rosen and Associates, concluded there were financial problems, but the document notes it was not given the time or the access to documents to delve deeply into key issues.
“This is clearly not a forensic audit,” Scott said.