Icelandic incinerator looks overseas for work

rubbish-dumpThe sale of south Iceland’s Sudurnes waste disposal site to German and American interests is under serious consideration. The interested companies want to use the site to burn waste oil from ships.

The loan taken out to build the Sudurnes waste disposal site, including incinerator, has doubled in price and now stands and ISK 1.2 billion. The weight of this debt is laying heavy on local councils in the region who own and run the site co-operatively, and rubbish collection charges in Sudurnes are already higher than elsewhere in Iceland.

Waste received at the site has seen a drop in recent years – especially in waste from construction and industry; and the site lost a quarter of its workload in one go when the NATO base closed. On the other hand, one project which has taken off and is earning the site an increasing amount of money, is the incineration of illegal drugs, reports.

The current situation is considered unsustainable and the authorities are looking to either share the facility among even more local governments or sell it into private hands. So far the discussions with the American and German investors who wish to burn waste marine oil have only been informal, according to Mayor or Reykjanesbaer Arni Sigfusson.

The waste plant opened five years ago with a view to the eventual cessation of landfill. This has not yet been formalised though, which means the site is still not being fully used. Incinerating confiscated drugs is one of the few bright spots in this grimy picture, it seems.

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