A Comparison of Two Methods to Conduct Material Flow Analysis on Waste Tires in a Small Island Developing State

The disposal of scrap tires is one of the biggest solid waste issues facing some small island developing states (SIDS) in the Caribbean. Dominica is a small Caribbean island nation that seeks to maintain its well‐founded image as the “Nature Island of the Caribbean.” The economy has seen a steadily increasing import of both tires and cars, with no mechanism for exportation of spent tires. This study used data gathered from both government and international sources to estimate the quantity of tires currently on the island and projected each year up to 2020 to determine potential reuse options. We performed a material flow analysis (MFA) using tire import, vehicle registration records, and projected per capita income to determine the expected accumulation of waste tires. Vehicle registration is expected to rise with the island's wealth, which will affect the annual flow of tires. Two methods were used to predict vehicle growth over time. Our analysis showed an average waste tire output from the economy of 47,000 to 50,000 passenger tire equivalents (PTEs) per year, or approximately 470 to 500 short tons per year of mass. Such an output does not justify large expenditures of tire shredding and processing equipment, but whole tire applications may be feasible as potential disposition options. The methods can be easily replicated to give low‐range and high‐range estimates of waste tires disposed in the environment.

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