IPOH - The suspension order by the Perak government on factories that extract industrial oil and steel by "cooking" old tyres will continue indefinitely, says state executive councillor Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.
The order would only be lifted once factory operators had found a more appropriate and cleaner method to obtain the commodity, he added.
He told some 25 operators present for a meeting at the state secretariat building here yesterday that stern action would be taken against those who flouted the ruling.
Dr Mah said he had received complaints and text messages daily from the public about the seriousness of the pollution.
"Some even provided me with photographs of it," he said.
He added that no licence had been issued to the operators for pyrolysis, a process utilising extreme heat to break down tyres into several components - oil, carbon black and wire steel cord.
"We have to take necessary action in the interest of public health, and I hope the operators will adhere to my warning," Dr Mah said.
"Until and unless they find a safer and cleaner method of disposing off the tyres, they will not be allowed to burn the tyres to extract the various components," he added.
Dr Mah said he would carry out periodical spot-checks on the factories and urged the public to inform the authorities if such operations were still being carried out in the state, he added.
Present at the meeting were state Department of Environment director Abdul Razak Abdul Manap, Malaysian Association of Tyre Retreaders and Dealers president Tan Heong Thong and Prof Zhou Shou Yong of China, who had created a system used by many other countries to burn old tyres in an environmentally-friendly process.
Dr Mah called on the operators to visit China to learn how the system was implemented.
Last Friday, Dr Mah, following an order by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, announced the suspension on the operations at the factories as they continued to operate despite previous action by the authorities.