Our training leading up to the RethinkTires Roadtrip gave the team the opportunity to learn about all aspects of Ontario Tire Stewardship’s business. We got to meet everyone from CEO’s to average Joe’s throughout the process, and were taught about all of the elements involved in recycling tires and turning them into new innovative products.
As a student of Business Administration at Wilfrid Laurier University, I love learning about the business world and working with Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) has expanded my knowledge even more.
I was lucky enough to spend a few hours with Andrew Horsman, Executive Director of Ontario Tire Stewardship. I had a wonderful chat with Mr. Horsman, who is a very brilliant and down to earth man, as he explained how OTS began. Our RethinkTires Roadtrip team was also lucky enough to visit National Rubber Technologies, a rubber product manufacturer, to learn how their athletic flooring is produced. I was eager to learn about the business as we got to experience a day in the life at the manufacturing plant. We got to interact with the crumb rubber, the initial material for making athletic flooring, and watched as it was heated, compressed, and processed into athletic flooring.
After two weeks of working in the office, training and preparing for this summer of adventures, we hit the road on the RethinkTires Roadtrip! During the summer, we travel across Ontario, educating people about OTS’ Used Tires Program, recycled tire products for the home and garden, and proper tire maintenance. After my first weekend on the road, I could not have been more confident and felt as if I had been doing this for years. I was amazed how interested and excited everyone we talked to was about tire recycling! Whether we were talking about how over 50,000,000 tires have been recycled since 2009, or that old tires get turned into different products including everything from garden mulch to roofing shakes, everyone seemed to love the idea. I lost track of the amount of times I was asked, “Why haven’t we been doing this all along?” or heard “It’s about time we started doing something good with all those tires.” Not only did I fall in love with the business side of OTS, but I fell in love with representing OTS. It feels good knowing that you are doing something good for the environment and offering innovative products at the same time. It is hard to debate a win-win alternative like this.
From the roaring engines at the Honda Indy, to the beauty of the north in Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, the tour is going great. I am getting to experience and understand all sides of the business. We get to talk to everyone, from young children who run over to the tent because they think cars are cool and saw a tire in our tent, to married couples who are looking to replace their roof. By the end of every event it seems hard to leave each place we go, after talking to so many locals you often feel as if you are one of them.
Ontario Tire Stewardship has introduced a fantastic initiative and I could not be happier to represent them. Stop by an event near you to meet us – we would love to expand your knowledge on recycling tires and new innovative products!
Next stop… the Leamington Tomato Festival!