Reykjavik ready to recycle residents’ refuse

Reykjavik finally says it plans to join many other Icelandic towns and villages in sorting household waste for recycling.

Reykjavik has been slow off the mark in its landfill management compared to other European cities; and even compared to other Icelandic municipalities. The city now plans, however, to set up a two-bin system for households, RUV reports.

Some other municipalities in Iceland insist their residents sort all recyclable waste out of their rubbish. In Akureyri, for example, people are asked to separately sort paper, cartons, glass and metal. The household waste bins in Akureyri even contain a separate section for organic waste, such as food. There are similar systems running in Isafjordur and elsewhere.

Isafjordur instigated its system when dioxin pollution forced the closure of its incinerator. The sea change in local waste management was seen as an opportunity to bring in recycling.

Reykjavik residents and politicians have been less forward-looking in matters of refuse. Things are now changing: “We plan to provide sorting bins to every home next year, beginning right after New Year’s,” says Gudmundur B. Fridriksson, office manager at the city environment and transport department.

The new system will be phased in on a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood basis.

Fridriksson says that the reduced landfill costs will mean the city does not have to increase charges to residents. Furthermore, he says that there could even be financial rewards for recycling properly.

(Photo: Alëx Elliott // IceNews)

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