By Mike Davey 

Ottawa, Ontario -- January 29, 2013 -- Old tires are unsightly and pose serious risks for both human health and the environment. For the last several years, Ontario Tire Stewardship has worked in conjunction with the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association (OARA) to ensure that old tires are collected and disposed of properly. 
 
The collected tires are then recycled and turned into a number of different consumer products. It’s a winning solution that cleans up communities and provides industry with raw materials. 
 
However, there is another benefit to Tire Take Back Days, that of community grants. OTS launched the first community grant on May 30, 2011 as a way to encourage Ontario communities and organizations to think green when planning their projects; build green by using recycled tire products; and grow green by using products made by Ontario recyclers and manufacturers. 
 
The program awards eligible communities and organizations grants toward the purchase and installation of recycled rubber products. Since the grant’s inception, it has benefited numerous communities across Ontario through projects such as playgrounds, community sidewalks and roofing retrofits. 
 
Recently, 4,000 sq. ft. of ProFit athletic flooring was installed at the Stirling and District Community Centre in Stirling-Rawdon, Ont. The new flooring was manufactured by National Rubber Technologies and would cost approximately $15,000 if purchased at retail prices. 
 
Greg Woodbeck of Woodbeck Auto Parts selected the upgrade for the local arena as the Community Prize from the 2012 Tire Take Back event that saw Woodbeck Auto Parts generating the most tire donations.
 
“I had no idea the impact of winning the OTS Community Prize would have for our community. We were fortunate enough to outfit our arena with new athletic flooring for the entire lobby and dressing room area,” says Woodbeck. “The Stirling and District Community Centre is a hub for our community through hockey and figure skating. Because of this, I have been happy to receive so many positive comments from people on behalf of Woodbeck Auto Parts, OARA and OTS”. 
 
The next Tire Take Back Days event is scheduled for May 26 to 31, 2014. Ontario Tire Stewardship is once again offering $15,000 in tire derived materials to the community that generates the most tires.
 
 
Greg Woodbeck of Woodbeck Auto Parts accepts the cheque from OTS on behalf of the Stirling and District Community Centre.