Dumpster Divers Feed on Discarded Food in Iceland Skip to content

Dumpster Divers Feed on Discarded Food in Iceland

A group of people in Iceland hardly spend any money on grocery shopping but manage to feed themselves and their families with dumpster diving, by picking up food from dumpsters outside supermarkets.

supermarket_zrA supermarket in Reykjavík. Photo: Zoë Robert/Iceland Review.

When approached by Fréttatíminn, none of the dumpster divers would be interviewed by name but expressed their concern over the reaction of supermarket owners who have started locking their dumpsters or even poured chemicals, such as soap, over the food to make it inedible.

Most of the dumpster divers say this is a conscious lifestyle choice, a lifestyle which has become rather common abroad. By feeding on products that would otherwise end up in the trash, they are protesting society’s consumerism.

However, some of them state that they cannot afford to buy food and feed on products from dumpsters out of necessity.

Most of the dumpster divers know each other and stick together. They often go dumpster diving in groups, have mapped out the best dumpsters and share their experience of what food products are safe to consume even though they’re past the ‘best before’ date.

According to a recent British survey, consumers in the western world throw away 30-50 percent off all food products that they buy.

Icelandic households buy food worth almost ISK 100 billion annually, of which estimated ISK 30 billion (USD 238 million, EUR 182 million) end up in the trash.

A family of five might therefore throw away ISK 500,000 (USD 4,000, EUR 3,000) worth of food every year.


20.01.2013 | Icelanders Bin ISK 30 Billion Worth of Food


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