Waste Tyre Management in Malaysia
Thiruvangodan, Sandra Kumar (2006) Waste Tyre Management in Malaysia. PhD thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
The research aim and objectives of this study was fourfold as follows: Firstly, to evaluate the number of motorcar waste tyres generated annually in Malaysia. Secondly, to study the current disposal methods and their impacts on the environment. Thirdly to determine the various issues /problems pertaining to waste tyre management, and finally to evaluate the status of current policies and regulations in relation to waste tyre management The methodology for the study consisted of desktop research, field observations, questionnaire surveys and discussions with relevant authorities and associations in the public and private sectors. The field `work was carried out from September 2002 to December 2003 in the Klang Valley (Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Darul Eshan). Three different sets of interview forms was pre-tested in September 2002, (for tyre dealers, related associations, tyre manufacturers and government agencies), improved and used to gather primary data beginning December 2002. A total of 109 tyre dealers, 13 government agencies, 3 tyre manufacturers, 3 landfill operators, 3 waste tyre users (recycling and reusers), 2 tyre related associations, 2 principal rubbish collectors, 2 related organizations and 50 tyre consumers were interviewed in the survey. All data were then analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The results of the study indicated the following: i. There is a steady increase in the motorcar waste tyre generated annually in the country. The number of motorcar waste tyres generated annually in the country was estimated to be 8.2 million or approximately 57,391 tonnes. About 60% of the waste tyres are disposed via unknown routes. ii. Waste tyres in Malaysia are neither categorized as solid waste or hazardous waste. It is generally considered as business or trade waste; hence currently, there is no specific law or regulation, which govern waste tyre management.iii. Tyre dealers face considerable pressure when the waste tyres accumulates in their premises, often resulting in improper storage of the wastes, which in turn invites penalties from the local authority. In light of the above situation, they usually employ private rubbish collectors to dispose their waste tyres. They do not have any guidance or assistance from their principals or authorities for proper management and disposal of waste tyres. iv. Although private rubbish collectors charge a fee to collect waste tyres, it is unknown to what extend these tyres are disposed off in an environmental friendly and legal way. There is no verifiable data on this issue. However, the private waste collectors complained that the gate fees at the landfill are not attractive for their business. v. Other industry users such as tyre shredders, recyclers and other physical users also make use of waste tyres. Currently there is no institutional approach for managing waste tyre as a resource in Malaysia. Existing companies operate purely on business ethics, with profit being the bottom line. Without a policy and management structure in place, it is costly and difficult for the recycling companies to get a steady supply of waste tyres. Thus, these companies are now using alternative materials such as used and rejected gloves and tyre buffing, hence reducing the demand for waste tyres. This is a complex issue and highlights the need to examine the “tyre dumping” practices in Malaysia.vi. Although the landfill is the easiest and a legal avenue to dispose waste tyres, the gate fee for waste tyres disposal is considered expensive by many private rubbish collectors. Private rubbish collectors collect waste tyres from the dealer’s premises together with other rubbish: thus they charge a minimum extra fee. On the other hand, a high gate fee at the landfill deters the private rubbish collectors from dumping waste tyres at the landfill. Left with little choice they have to find alternative places within their budget to dispose the tyres. vii. Other industry users collect waste tyres for retreading, rubber reclaim and shredding. However, the demand for products made of recycled waste tyre materials is very limited and there is no regulatory support as in some developed countries Although there are some beneficial applications of waste tyres, the controlling or hindering factors are a steady market demand for the end products and a continuous supply of waste tyres. viii. High waste tyre volume consuming options such as ‘artificial reef construction ’ and ‘rubberized asphalt road surfacing’ seems not to be favoured options today. The Department of Fisheries has stopped using waste tyres to construct artificial reefs, whereas the latter option never got started commercially in the country. Large-scale operations that can remove this waste quickly and cheaply is needed. With these major options being discarded or less favoured the volume of waste tyres to be disposed would increase rapidly.ix. The adverse environmental impacts due to improper management of waste tyres, was deduced from field observations and “ad-hoc” data from interviews with municipal health inspectors and landfill operators. They include mosquito breeding , air pollution associated with open burning of tyres (particulates, odour, visual impacts, and other harmful contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, dioxin, furans and oxides of nitrogen), aesthetic pollution caused by waste tyre stockpiles and illegal waste tyre dumps (habitat for vermin such as rats and snakes), and other impacts such as alterations in hydrological regimes when gullies and watercourses become dumping sites. These environmentally related problems occur because of the lack of a formal, well-coordinated management system for waste tyres. x. There is a serious lack of producer responsibility for waste tyre management in Malaysia. Tyre producers or manufacturers are not concerned about the final disposal of their product at the end of its life. They leave it solely to their dealers to tackle this issue. The lack of producer responsibility in managing the waste makes the management of waste tyres a more difficult task. xi. Generally there is a lack of awareness and concern among the industry and the public on the environmental and health impacts due to improper management of waste tyres.xii. Lack of consistent and available information/data about waste tyre generation and management hinders the understanding of current management scenarios, which is critical in order to formulate pragmatic solutions. There is a lot of uncertainty how an issue in one sector of the industry can influence a sustainable change in another sector. xiii. It is concluded from the study that the important factors for establishing an effective waste tyre management system includes (a) the formulation of a national policy for waste tyre management, (b) the creation of incentives for the use of waste tyre recovered materials and to mandate the use of these materials in specified activities, (c) a single qualified concessionaire, (d) assistance to exploit value from waste tyres,(e) imposition of a levy, (f) extended producer responsibility, (g) a centralized administration and enforcement structure, and (h) public awareness programme.
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