The abandoned end-of-life vehicle (ELV) problem in small islands has negative effects on local sustainable development, and the treatment of ELVs in island scale is usually difficult. This study presents the investigation of the material flows and economic analysis on the ELVs in small islands by the case study of Kinmen, Taiwan. The ELVs generation amount is estimated using the population balance model (PBM) and the results showed a steep increase in the future for both automobiles and motorcycles. The insufficient ELV treatment capacity has resulted in the significant informal treatment flow, which will be the total weight of 1906 tons of items with market value, with a potential economic gain of 16.9 million TWD in 2050. The results of the economic characterization of the local dismantling business clarified that profitability is the main hindrance for the development of new dismantling business due to high transportation costs. Our results suggested that implementation of the different subsidy rate according to the treatment area under the current policy or creation of a new treatment flow with a direct shipment of ELVs for treatment is necessary to improve the utilization of the stocked materials from untreated ELVs.
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