Illegal To Import Garbage - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Illegal To Import Garbage

Published March 9, 2012

One American company’s plans to export garbage to Iceland for disposal might be scrapped, on account of it being illegal for Iceland to import waste from abroad.
The company in question, Triumvirate Environmental, wants to buy the waste disposal centre Kalka, with the intention to send American garbage to the centre to be burned. Connected to this plan was the notion that the project would create jobs – Kalka is located in Suðurnes, the region of Iceland with the highest levels of unemployment (about 12%). The town council of Reykjanesbæ was therefore interested in the plan.
However, conservationist Árni Finnsson pointed out that such an idea was actually a violation of international law, and thus Iceland had no authority to accept the offer. He also sent a letter to every member of parliament to this effect, and asked that they not grant Triumvirate Environmental permission to import garbage.
RÚV now reports that Böðvar Jónsson, the president of Reykjanesbæ town council, said that this news does not surprises him, as it was a point raised at the town council meeting discussing the idea. If it turns out that the idea is fully and completely illegal, he said, it will be scrapped.
Environmental concerns outside of the legal issue were also raised. Triumvirate Environmental’s plan is to have 50% of the garbage they mean to import be harmless waste, while 37% would be flammable liquid, and 3% would be classified as toxic.

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