Scouts Lose Millions a Month Due to Stolen Recyclables Skip to content
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Photo: Golli.

Scouts Lose Millions a Month Due to Stolen Recyclables

All across Iceland, one may find green recycling bins labelled “Grænir skátar” (literally “green scouts”). These are bins for bottles and cans to be deposited for recycling; specifically, to raise money for the Icelandic Boy and Girl Scout Association, as these recyclables can be deposited in exchange for money.

However, reports have come in that thieves are stealing from the bins for their own gain, to the tune of two to three million ISK each month.

A slow response

Jón Ingvar Bragason, the director of Grænir skátar, told RÚV that the organisation had received tips from recycling centres on the matter. Suspicions have been aroused due to people arriving at recycling centres to deposit bottles and cans worth millions each month without explanation.

“This is the same party that was arrested for the same thing two years ago, stealing from us,” he said. “He’s at it again. We find it strange how slowly it has taken to get the police to work with us against this.”

A massive heist

When asked how anyone would be capable of stealing such large quantities of recyclables, Jón said: “There are examples of people simply tipping over the bins, and then pulling things out of it. Then there is the so-called triple hook method, that is fishing the bags out of the containers.”

The heists are having an effect on scout revenue, but Jón said that they have been working to replace these bins with ones that are more difficult to steal from.

“It’s harder to steal from [the new bins] than before,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time before these people find out.”

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