Ocean Legacy Foundation collects 2,409 scrap tires from remote island off BC’s coast
This significant scrap tire cleanup was part of the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative and in partnership with Let’s Talk Trash, Tire Stewardship BC, and Liberty Tire
Ocean Legacy Foundation, a Canadian non-profit organization that develops and implements worldwide plastic pollution response programs with the goal to end ocean plastic pollution, announced that on October 29-30, 2022, and in partnership with the Let’s Talk Trash team, Tire Stewardship BC, and Liberty Tire, 2,409 scrap vehicle tires were collected from a remote islet located off the east coast of Nelson Island, British Columbia.
The cleanup effort was a part of the Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative that supports marine shoreline cleanup and derelict vessel removal in coastal communities within British Columbia. Funding for the Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative is provided by the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
Related: Watch coverage on the cleanup of “tire island” on Global News
“The mysterious origin of this tire dump site dates back to the 1990s. For over 20 years these tires have been abandoned and seemingly outside of any jurisdiction to clean up,” said Abby McLennan, Co-Founder, Let’s Talk Trash.
“It was wonderful to work with Let’s Talk Trash, Tire Stewardship BC, and Liberty Tire in this cleanup effort to ensure that these old and abandoned tires didn’t end up in our ocean or landfills. Additionally, with the pollution gone from the island’s surface, new life can now grow in its place,” said Chloé Dubois, Co-Founder, Ocean Legacy Foundation.
The 2,409 tires were all moved by hand due to the complexities of the islet’s rocky and sloping outcroppings, with no beach or easy landing area. Over the course of two days, a 33-person team of Ocean Legacy Foundation and Let’s Talk Trash staff and volunteers moved all the tires off the island and onto a barge that was taken to Powell River. In Powell River, the scrap tires were loaded by hand into eight 30-yard bins from Augusta Recyclers and one 28’ trailer supplied by Liberty Tire. From there they were transported to Liberty Tire’s recycling facility in Delta.
Related: CBC covers the cleanup of “tire island”
“Tire Stewardship BC is proud to be a part of such an important cleanup expedition. The scrap tires that were collected can be recycled and reused for many purposes including rubberized horse mats, running tracks, waterparks, walkways and gathering areas, as well as playgrounds,” said Rosemary Sutton, Executive Director, Tire Stewardship BC. “Every year in BC the equivalent of more than five million scrap vehicle tires are recycled into new, durable, and environmentally friendly products, with 100 per cent all scrap tires collected repurposed within British Columbia.”
“Thank you to the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative for helping to fund this scrap tire cleanup,” said Dubois.
About Ocean Legacy Foundation
Initiated in 2013, Ocean Legacy Foundation (OLF) is a Canadian, internationally recognized, non-profit organization that develops and implements worldwide plastic pollution emergency response programs, with the goal to end plastic pollution. OLF combines sustainable technologies, education, and skills training to convert plastic pollution into economic value while providing local communities with the tools they need to prevent plastic pollution and protect their local environment.
EPIC Academy is part of the OLF’s EPIC Plastic Pollution Emergency Response™ program, which takes a four-pillar approach to identify, cleanup, and prevent plastic waste from entering tributary and marine ecosystems. The four pillars are Education & Research, Policy & Advocacy, Infrastructure Development, and Cleanup & Restoration (“EPIC”). The purpose of EPIC is to create an accessible platform to assist with the restoration of critical natural ecosystems for improved human and wildlife health, as well as assess and develop long-term plastic collection, processing infrastructure and policy to mitigate oceanic plastic pollution sources. We have collected over a million pounds of plastic waste from over 720 kilometers of shoreline around the world and have engaged hundreds of thousands of individuals in plastic pollution cleanup, education, and recycling activities. For more information visit www.oceanlegacy.ca