Give ZHA a call to get rid of unwanted tyres

From third left: Yong, Tiong and Jack photographed during the joint press conference at Sarawak Bomba headquarters in Jalan Setia Raja, Kuching on May 29, 2024.

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, May 29: Disposing your unwanted used tyres can be as easy as making a phone call.

This used tyre waste management programme has actually been implemented throughout Sarawak since 2013.

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Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) Controller of Environmental Quality, Jack Liam, revealed that under the Natural Resources and Environment (Collection And Disposal Of Used Tyres), Rules 2012 of the Natural Resources and Environment Ordinance, 1993, the Sarawak government has appointed ZHA Environmental Sdn Bhd as the sole contractor to collect and recycle used tyres throughout the State.

Under the same law, the penalty for improper disposal of tyres is a fine not exceeding RM30,000, or a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.

“Basically, ZHA has been appointed since 2012 and they are given a 25-year contract up to 2028.

“To date, the number of used tyres that have been collected from 2013 up to 2023 is about 93,680 metric tonnes which is equivalent to around 9 million pieces of passenger car tyres,” he said at a joint press conference by NREB, ZHA and Sarawak Fire and Bomba Department (Bomba) at the Bomba headquarters on Jalan Setia Raja here today.

Meanwhile, ZHA director Bernard Yong said for the past 10 years, his company has been dispatching trucks to collect used tyres on a daily basis in major towns and cities, specifically to locations such as tyre workshops, transporter companies, industrial areas and ports.

“Upon encountering tyres on sight, the collection workers will ask the owners whether they still want the tyres. If they don’t, they will offer to collect it for free,” he explained.

However, Yong pointed out that his collection workers would not be able to guess whether other factories and shops have unwanted tyres kept inside their premises.

These tyres, if left unattended, could become a fire hazard whereby once lit, the flame is very difficult to extinguish.

Additionally, burning tyres emit toxic fumes that pollute the air and cause respiratory problems for nearby residents.

Following this, NREB, ZHA and Sarawak Bomba have come together to conduct an awareness programme on educating members of the public on the existence of the tyre collection service by ZHA.

Those who wishe to dispose of their unwanted tyres may call ZHA at +6082-287599. Their collection service is from Monday to Saturday.

Yong also disclosed that ZHA collects an average of around 10,000 metric tonnes of tyres per year which is equivalent to 1 million pieces of passenger car tyres.

“So far, based on our record, we observe that there’s a two per cent increase every year on the number of tyres that we collect.

“With the Pan Borneo Highway construction completed, a lot of the river transport now has converted to land transport and we foresee from there that the amount of tyres will continue to grow,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Bomba acting director Tiong Ling Hii said that the advocacy programme will focus on educating members of the public on good housekeeping involving unwanted tyres.

“Under Bomba Services Act 1988, we can issue a notice for the premises to conduct good housekeeping not only for disposal of tyres but also those that block safety stairs so that they be cleared within one or two days.

“It is very important for us educate on this matter because burning tyres can incur a high cost for extinguishing operations and (putting out the fire) consumes a lot of time,” he explained. — DayakDaily

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