Environmental standards around the world vary, and this has created some anomalies. Tyre pyrolysis operations that would not be acceptable in the USA or Europe are quite commonplace in some Asian markets.
However, the Malaysian government is clamping down after a series of fires and complaints from neighbouring residents.
Perak Health Committee chairman, Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said that such operations should be left to the specialists. “It is not the state’s intention to allow such a ‘dirty’ industry to carry on, but there is no other way for proper disposal of used tyres as dumping them into the sea would only harm the marine ecosystem.”
A period of grace to upgrade pyrolysis systems ended on the 21st February. “We will take action against recalcitrant operators and demolish their old boilers. Even if two out of four boilers have been upgraded, they will be asked to cease operations immediately,” he said.
Dr Mah advised tyre boiling factories to join Persatuan Pyrolysis Minyak Perak for constant updates on regulation and environmental safety.
Its chairman Datuk Chah Kok Hua said currently, 10 factories under the association were already using equipment from China to conduct pyrolysis according to standards.
“Fifteen others are still in the upgrading process,” he said.
“It is our job to ensure that all factories do not emit toxic fumes or stench during operations that would put nearby residents at risk.
“If they are found to disregard the rules set by the authorities, we will shut them down immediately,” he said.