If you've got a tangle of old bike tires and tubes in the garage, you can unload them at a participating bike retailer and they will be recycled as part of our province's tire recycling program.
Twenty years ago BC put a $3 "levy" on new auto and truck tires and the money fuelled the development of a tire recycling industry.
The industry is made up of retailers taking back tires, truckers hauling them, processors preparing the rubber for reuse, and manufacturers taking the crumb rubber and making products with it. Once the industry was on its feet tires became regulated under the BC Recycling Regulation.
Now that we have a tire recycling industry, those levies on tires don't go to the government, but to one of the "stewardship organizations" that have sprung up in BC to handle recycling of particular products and packaging covered under the regulation. For an overview of this "stewardship industry" see this interesting Recycling Handbook.
Now there are tire recycling programs in every province of Canada that are modelled more or less on the BC program. Some programs are still in earlier stages of their evolution. The evolution is from traditional government-run recycling to entirely industry-run recycling where government sets environmental standards. This evolution is happening to everything we buy. It will be as easy to recycle an old tire (or whatever) as it was to buy it in the first place.
Tire retailers are the backbone of the tire return system. What's new this year is that bicycle retailers have joined the system as a pilot to take back bike tires and tubes. For more information see the Tire Stewardship website.