Ontario Tire Stewardship

Ontario Tire Stewardship

Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) is an Industry Funded Organization (IFO) incorporated under Ontario’s Waste Diversion Act, to implement and operate the Used Tires Program. This province-wide scrap tire solution for On-road and Off-road tires supplied into the Ontario market, will divert scrap tires away from burning and landfilling to 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) processing and uses. Launched on September 1, 2009, the program will eliminate the “disposal fee” that consumers currently pay to get rid of their old tires – whether or not they are buying new ones -- making it easy and free for Ontarians to get their old tires recycled by dropping them off at registered Collectors across Ontario.

Website URL: http://rethinktires.ca

Monday, 15 July 2013 18:46

Playgrounds by kids, for kids

Kids across Ontario are gearing up for summer vacation and a playground, of course, is sure to be one of their first stops! To celebrate the beginning of summer and spark ideas for cool new playgrounds to visit in communities across Ontario, here are a few suggestions.

Not only are they packed with cool, non-traditional features, but each playground has sustainable surfacing made from recycled tire rubber that adds colour and enhanced durability and safety! The innovative design and technology that went into creating the surfacing product ensures a high degree of shock absorption to better cushion falls and reduce the severity of playground injuries.  Available in custom colours and patterns, this surfacing is easy on the eye too!

As a bonus, the below playgrounds were designed by kids, for kids.

Car Park (Newmarket)

This park was designed and created for the York Region Children’s Aid Society in Newmarket, an organization that was lacking a space for children to play. The park boasts a racetrack, racecars, slides, and even a spinner! The racetrack, provided by SofSurfaces, contains between 74% and 93% recycled Ontario tires. Kids also think it’s pretty neat that tires found new life off the road and on a playground!



Future Park (Hamilton)

Hamilton City Housing recently got its own playground, and decided on a futuristic theme. This meant incorporating everything from a time machine to a spaceship bench with solar panels, to a mural of robots and aliens. The coloured pattern in the rubber playground surfacing also helps to make the playground theme out of this world!



Science Park (Hamilton)

Some crafty kids thought it might be fun to create a science-themed park with features like an asteroid-shaped climbing wall and rocket-shaped teeter-totter, and soft flooring. We’ll take an ‘atom-climber’ over monkey bars any day! Each playground tile contains 2 recycled rubber tires!



Playgrounds are more than just places to play: they are social hubs that bind communities. These public spaces allow children to grow and develop by enabling them to socialize, build relationships, and get outdoors! These are just a few examples of great sustainable playgrounds in Ontario. If you’re looking for new community adventures to explore with your children this summer, check out these latest additions!

These playgrounds were all part of a show called Giver, in which kids aged 6-12 design and build playgrounds in their communities. To watch full episodes, tune into TVO or visit our Youtube channel.

For more information on recycled rubber products and Ontario Tire Stewardship, visit www.RethinkTires.ca and follow us on Twitter @RethinkTires.

Tire swings may be what most people think of when talking about tires in playgrounds, but Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) is working hard to change that. A recent study by OTS found that over a third of Ontarians surveyed feel that public spaces such as playgrounds, parks and recreational facilities in their communities are outdated. It may come as a surprise, but recycled tires have the potential to revitalize outdoor spaces, and far beyond that tire swing!

OTS helps recycle each of the 12 million tires introduced yearly in the province, and works with manufacturers to convert those tires into useful new products. Talking to children about tire recycling and showing them some of these products is a great way to start educating them about sustainability, and to get kids thinking about the lifecycle of the products they use day-to-day.

From Black to Green: The Lifecycle of a Tire


When tires reach the end of their lives, they get recycled and find new life in the form of innovative products. This educational, animated video demonstrates exactly how the tire recycling process is rolled out. It is typically a three-step process.

First, tires get dropped off at a local tire disposal collector where they are sorted and sent to a recycling facility. At the facility, the tires are cleaned and broken down into smaller and smaller pieces until eventually a fine material called crumb rubber is created. The crumb rubber is then used in the manufacturing of a variety of products including playground surfacing, decorative stepping stones, athletic flooring, walkway pavers and more. See the photos below to view these products or visit www.GreenMyTires.ca. Teaching kids about tire recycling is a fun and creative way to engage them on sustainability and will help mold them into environmentally-progressive citizens.

For more information on tire recycling and Ontario Tire Stewardship, visit www.RethinkTires.ca and follow us on Twitter @RethinkTires.

Products made from recycled tire rubber:


SofTILE is a durable, slip-resistant playground surface made entirely of recycled materials.


Kids playing in the Kate’s Kause playground in Elmira – playground surface created using SofTILE.

Multy Home Stepping Stones

Multy Home’s envirotile™ Stepping Stones are made entirely of recycled tires. They are used as pathways and decorative accents in gardens.


Reversible, decorative, and environmentally-friendly.

Heffco Mulch

Crumb rubber mulch doesn’t fade, compress, or rot. This makes it cleaner and safer for gardens, landscaping, and playgrounds than traditional mulch.


Rubber mulch costs 65% less than wood mulch over a five-year period.