A provincial agency is recommending Ontario scrap the $5 per tire “disposal” fee charged to drivers when they get rid of their old tires, and replace it with a levy charged to manufacturers and importers that they could pass on to consumers.

The fees paid by the tire producers would be used to fund the Ontario Tire Stewardship, an industry-administered plan to track, collect, store, transport, process and market scrap tires with a goal of having 95 per cent of them recycled in the province.

Currently, about half of the 12 million used tires generated in Ontario each year are sent to the United States or Quebec to be incinerated.

Waste Diversion Ontario predicts that number will grow to 15 million used tires annually by 2014, and has developed a new strategy to deal with the problem.

Millions of tires in Ontario each year are turned into crumbs for rubberized asphalt, become alternatives to aggregate and sand for civil engineering projects, or are made into fabricated products such as hoses used in car engines.