Waste management at Skaftárhreppi

Skaftárhreppur is taking part in a pilot project in 2020 where the waste management will be changed. The project is made in co-​operation with The Social ScienceResearch Institute, University of Iceland and ReSource International ehf. The aim of the project is to give an overview of which waste management solutions are most suitable to fulfill the laws and regulations regarding waste handling and disposal, and which are suitable for the inhabitants of the area. The resulting knowledge of the project will be used in order to fulfill the sustainability and recycling goals of the environmental ministry of Iceland and coin a waste management model that can be used in multiple places in Iceland. The project was introduced to the inhabitants of Skaftárhreppur in January 2020. The town meeting had a good turn-​up and we were welcomed by the enthusiastic people of Skaftárhreppur.


Low levels of microplastics in Icelandic drinking water

You can download the report directly from our Events and Publications page.

Veitur, HS Orka and Norðurorka today presented the results of a year-​long independent study conducted by ReSource International ehf. measuring microplastics in drinking water across the companies’ boreholes, water distribution systems and storage tanks.

Microplastics were detected in half of points in distribution systems and less than half of boreholes and storage tanks. Researchers found around one particle in every ten litres in the median sample point. In contrast, a widely publicised 2018 study funded by ORB Media on tap water worldwide found an average of fifty particles in every ten litres sampled.

Jamie McQuilkin, the principle investigator, said “We know that microplastics are present essentially everywhere in the modern environment, but the results from this work suggest that Icelandic drinking water is not a large carrier. In fact, our main difficulty in this study was to protect our samples from particles in the air and on surfaces – we spent many months developing the method to get this work to be as accurate as possible.”

One of the challenges in microplastics research is quantifying and preventing contamination from the air and from researchers’ own clothes, which can be hundreds of times greater than that in samples. This research, unlike previous work in Iceland, used extensive contamination controls and blank samples.

Microplastics are plastic particles less than 5mm in all dimensions. The study measured all microplastics above 0,027mm, or 27 microns. In addition, a fluorescent dye called Nile Red was used to stain plastic particles, in order to tell them apart from organic particles such as cotton or wool.

A WHO report recently released in August 2019 stated that, although current information is limited, particularly for very small microplastics, “there is no evidence to indicate a human health concern” from microplastics in drinking water. In addition, the evidence available suggest that plastic content of bottled water is higher than that of tap water, likely partially due to its packaging. However, their recommendation is that further research is necessary.

Veitur, HS Orka and Norðurorka will now consider the need for further monitoring.

Want to read the report ? You can download it from our Events and Publications page.


Nordic Innovation – Waste Management

Collection of methane from landfills, microplastic sampling and innovative soultions for waste management.
Yes, waste, resources and our planet are more than worth taking good care of!

Nordic Innovation


ÅF R&D on microplastics presented at international conferences

We are thankful for our collaboration with ÅF Consulting on this project and proud that the equipment and method we developed for microplastic sampling was a key element for its success.

See the article here: ÅF R&D on microplastics presented at international conferences


Smart Bins Pilot in Reykjavík City

ReSource International ehf. has carried out an initial study on what aspects should be considered in a smart bin project in collaboration with Reykjavík city and the partners from the Nordic Smart City Network (NSCN). The work showed that cities have common challenges in the field and that collaboration is a key component to accelerate the implementation of smart city solutions.

Reykjavík city and RSI have implemented a pilot project this summer for smart bin solutions with different sensor providers. The sensors selected have different types of measurement and connectivity in order to test a full panel of solutions available on the market today. In addition, a LoRaWAN gateway will be installed to test specific connectivity and network for smart city solutions. The Gateway/​Network could be used to test other types of smart city solutions (lighting, parking, traffic, water, etc.). First results of the pilot are expected after this winter. After the first pilot, it will be possible to efficiently integrate further smart bin solutions within the city operations.


Waste-​Polymer Enhanced Asphalt

ReSource International ehf. have been working hard at experimenting with waste-​polymer enhanced asphalt. The project has been funded by Tækniþróunarsjóður Rannís and the results are strikingly good.

The research objective is coined in order to ensure an economically feasible, residual resource-​reliant and environmentally friendly solution for bound asphalt which simultaneously enhances asphalt and supports Iceland’s goals on sustainability.

Main results: 28 asphalt mixtures were tested, four replicates for each asphalt mixture, which were tested for: Marshall stability and flow, density and void content.

The results indicate that a doubled force is needed to break asphalt enhanced with waste-​polymers. Lastly, wheel-​track tests were performed which shows the tendency of asphalt to form wheel-​tracks.

Wheel-​track results show that the addition of waste-​polymer decreases the asphalt‘s tendency to form wheel-​tracks. Waste-​polymer enhanced asphalt has set a record for the lowest wheel-​track formation recorded by the Icelandic Innovation Center (NMÍ) for the last 10 years (at least).

Next steps: To contionue, this project ReSource is going to send asphalt samples to test the resistance of spiked tires and monitor the particulate matter for microplastics. Additionally, there are plans to lay a test section of waste-​polymer enhanced road in order to monitor the performance of the asphalt in a real-​life situation.

ReSource is looking forward to developing the project further and is excited to see the impact it will have on plastic recycling in Iceland.


Operation of Gas Collection System at the Landfill Site in Glerárdalur

Since its beginning, ReSource International has been working on developing new approaches and methods for landfill gas collection management. We help our customers in their daily operation in order to optimize the gas collection and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today we start our field work with Norðurorka which produces biofuel from the old landfill of the town in the North of Iceland. Methane gas is being utilized and supports Norðurorka’s environmental policy in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and utilizing renewable energy resources.


UN Global Compact Available for Icelandic Businesses and Municipalities

The UN Global Compact drives business and organizations’ awareness and actions in support of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Today we are happy to announce that RSI can provide consulting services to help companies and municipalities in achieving their sustainability goals using the UN Global compact framework.

UN Global Compact is gaining in strength in Iceland and at the international level. If you are interested in the methodology and you would like to know how to implement the strategy you can contact us.

We also would lie to inform you of an important event next week from FESTA that will take place at the Grand Hotel in Reykjavík on the 24th of October 2018. More information can be found on FESTA’s website here.

Besides, more information on the UN Global compact can be found here.


New Method Developed for Microplastic Measurement in Drinking Water

ReSource International is happy to announce that the company finalized its method development for microplastic counting in drinking water. Due to the difficulty of detecting and identifying microplastics, the method developed includes large samples as standard and uses fluorescence microscopy in laboratory quantification. Large efforts are also undertaken to quantify and prevent contamination in the sampling process, which has significantly affected most studies to date.

The project is done with the support and the participation of Orkuveita Reykjavikur, HS Orka (Reykjanes), Hafnarfjörður Municipality and Norðurorka (Akureyri).

Other water facilities are welcome to join the project and contact us for further information.


How Robots With Lasers Can Fight Climate Change: Mapping Landfill Methane Emissions with an UAV-​mounted Laser Sensor

These last weeks ReSource International has been testing a laser methane sensor supplied by Pergam Suisse on landfills in the southwest of Iceland. The sensor is normally used for ground-​based leak detection in the natural gas industry, and we have been able to mount it on one of our drones to detect methane leaks in the landfills which we work on. After processing raw data with our 3D elevation models using GIS software, we can create high-​resolution maps of emissions and compare them to visible and thermal photographs. Our goal is to be able to quantify emissions and thus monitor the effectiveness of the mitigation measures which we work with, such as gas collection systems and bio-​covers.

ReSource International has specialized itself for the past years in landfill monitoring and landfill gas collection systems. In addition, the company is operating a drone program, offering perfect opportunities to apply this technology to landfills.

For more information, email jamie[@]

An example of data output after treatment (RSI-​2018)