Future of waste in Iceland and a requirement assessment for incinerators

ReSource has been working on forecasting the development of waste in Iceland to 2045. The assessment is based on the increased recycling goals and minimisation goals of waste landfilled that have been set by the environmental minister of Iceland about waste management.
Amounts and composition of non-​recyclable waste (which is landfilled today) is a focus-​point of the assessment, since it could fall between the cracks with goals of minimization of landfilled materials. Thereof, the amounts and composition of non-​recyclable waste suitable for waste-​to-​energy processing will be accounted for, as well as the theoretical energy potential, suitable locations and their potential environmental impact.


Recycled asphalt in Iceland

ReSource International ehf. Has been looking into the amount of asphalt waste that is produced each year in Iceland. According to The Environment Agency of Iceland, more than 42 thousand tons of asphalt waste was produced in 2018, which equals 116 tons per day, each day for a year.

The act of reusing is valuable. Asphalt is made of quality aggregate and bitumen which can be reused multiple times. However, it is clear that recovered asphalt is not fully reused in Iceland.

The Life Cycle Assessment was performed, where the results of four waste treatment scenarios were compared. The scenarios regarding recovered asphalt included: reuse in bound surface layers, recycled in sub layers, recovered to be used for landscaping or disposed of in a landfill. The results showed that it is most environmentally favourable to reuse recovered asphalt in bound surface layers, giving environmental savings connected to the 14 impact categories recommended by the ILCD. The least environmentally favourable in the comparison was to dispose of the recovered asphalt in a landfill.

Reusing recovered asphalt to a larger degree in Iceland would save a significant amount of environmental and economic impact.