Over a million tons of waste was produced in Iceland in 2016, RÚV reports. This was among the findings in the annual report recently published by The Environment Agency of Iceland. This is a 23% increase in waste produced in Iceland the year before and the largest amount of waste that has ever been produced in the country. The report does not include data from 2017.
Between 2014 and 2015, there was only a 7% increase in waste production. The most likely explanation offered for why there was so much more produced between 2015 and 2016 is that there was far more soil, mineral, and inert waste. This is thought to be the product of increased activity within the construction industry. Waste of this kind increased by over 135,000 tons from the year before.
The report also found that there was much more metal exported for recycling in 2016 than before, which was linked to rising prices for scrap metal on the foreign market.
Household garbage also increased considerably: 13% between 2015 and 2016. On average, the report finds that every person throws out as much as 660 kilograms of household waste a year, which is on par with the amount of household garbage being produced before the economic collapse. Following the collapse, there was a sharp decline in how much was being thrown out in Iceland, but increased prosperity has led to an increase in household waste once again.