Icelandic Waste Management Company Goes Greener Skip to content

Icelandic Waste Management Company Goes Greener

Waste management company Íslenska gámafélagid, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last weekend, has signed an agreement with Líforka, an Icelandic producer of biodiesel, to purchase all of the fuel which Líforka will produce in the next 12 months.

From the forest in Hallormsstadur. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“The green sector is on the go and now we intend to increase the number of employees by half,” managing director of Íslenska gámafélagid Jón Thórir Frantzson told Morgunbladid. He estimates that 200 new jobs can be created in three years.

The fleet of Íslenska gámafélagid consists of 500 vehicles, an increasing part of which is fueled by biodiesel, which is produced by materials that otherwise go to waste, such as cooking oil, fish slime and animal fats.

“We have a valuable resource. If we do things right, we can fuel every other car in Iceland with domestic energy resources such as biodiesel or methane gas,” Frantzson predicted.

“Time is working on our side and now we are planning to establish a repair shop here in Gufunes [in Reykjavík] where cars are changed and hybrid engines installed, which use methane gas and conventional fuels, such as gasoline, for extra power,” Frantzson described. “This repair shop will employ 50 people.”

In some places around Iceland, including Stykkishólmur, Skaftárhreppur, Flóahreppur and Nónhaed in Kópavogur, waste is sorted into three types of garbage cans: one for garbage that can be recycled, another for food leftovers and a third for garbage that cannot be recycled.

Other municipalities are jumping onto the bandwagon, including Fljótsdalshérad and Fjallabyggd.

“The categorization makes it possible for us to find materials that we can work with and create something valuable and a number of new jobs,” Frantzson said.

Today, Íslenska gámafélagid sends iron to Britain for recycling and paper to Sweden, among other exports, which delivers ISK 150 to 200 million (USD 1.2 to 1.6 million, EUR 760,000 to 1 million) in foreign exchange earnings. That amount can double in a few years, Frantzson stated.

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