Lafarge has registered with the Department of Environment for an environmental assessment to burn scrap tires as fuel at the Brookfield Cement Plant. If approved the burning of tires for fuel will begin this year. The proposal is to burn 450,000 tires a year or 6,000 tonnes; this would represent 15% of fuel used in the cement kiln. Their position is that burning tires instead of coal can reduce greenhouse gas and NOx emissions. There is also a clear economic incentive for Lafarge, if approved Lafarge would reduce fuel costs and be paid with environmental handling fees to burn tires. We want to see fewer greenhouse gas emissions; we do not think burning tires is the solution.
Nova Scotia produces nearly 1,000,000 scrap tires a year. Currently all Nova Scotian tires are recycled in the province to make tire derived aggregate, an engineering material used as fill in construction. Approval of tire burning would directly subtract from the recycling industry. Material recycling in Nova Scotia is controlled by Divert NS, a non-for-profit organization that champions recycling in Nova Scotia, with their two main programs being the beverage Container Deposit Refund Program and the Used Tire Management Program. Burning tires in a cement kiln instead of recycling appears to be a direct contradiction to this work, especially with a proven and successful recycling opportunity. Further, recycling is a more environmentally friendly use of the used tires than burning.
We also have many other environmental concerns related to burning tires at Brookfield Cement Plant. Tire burning results in airborne heavy metals, dioxins and furans, and other harmful contaminants. This can lead to negative health impacts for the surrounding community and the harm the surrounding ecosystem. We urge for the precautionary approach when dealing with anything that can have such lasting impact to our environment.
We implore the Minster of Environment to reject the proposal, demonstrating that Nova Scotian's value recycling, while protecting our environment.
Update - November 24, 2017
The judicial review is set March 6 and 7th, 2018 starting at 9:30. In addition, CABOT has submitted expert evidence from Dr. Doug Hallett, a biochemist. The group believes this evidence is very relevant to the Minister’s decision to approve the burning of tires. The court will decide whether to accept this evidence at 2:00 o’clock on December 14th. The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia is at 1815 Upper Water St., Halifax, 902-424-4900.
Click here to view our response to the environmental assessment, which has been submitted to the Department of Environment.
Click here to sign our petition opposing the proposal.