Waste bin accessibility and maintenance

It is important that waste collectors get to waste bins safely and unhindered. It not only saves time during unloading, it also affects the number of accidents, worker health, and ensures a better and cheaper service for your home. Are your bins easily accessible?

Bin not emptied

The waste collection team leaves a sticker explaining why a bin was not emptied. Poor access is one reason; bins are also not emptied if the waste is not properly sorted, to ensure the quality of recyclable materials. If there's too much trash in or around a bin, it can't be emptied. Only waste inside bins is removed, not what's around them.

A few things to keep in mind about accessibility


It is especially difficult to bring heavy bins up the stairs. Ramps/chutes are necessary to improve access when there are stairs. You can also consider other locations.


In the winter darkness, good lighting is important for the work areas of waste collectors.


Make sure there are no bicycles or other things in the way of the bins.

Snow and ice

Be sure to shovel snow out of workers paths on unloading days and use sand or salt when it is slippery.


On unloading days, it is better to keep dogs away. If a dog is leashed on the property, it is important that it does not get in the way of staff during waste collection.


It is better if a door stays open while workers are there. Door pumps and hooks that keep doors open while unloading make work easier.


Please note that according to the resolution on waste management in Reykjavík, all the bins at each building should be stored in the same place.


It is much easier to drag bins on asphalt or stone slabs than on grass and gravel.

Ceiling height

Too low ceiling height in access routes makes it difficult for workers and increases strain.

Material selection

Cladding, door frames, floors, and walls must be constructed in such a way as not to be damaged when accessing the bins.

Locked storage

If residents want to lock their trash storage, they will need to make sure that the locks work with the Waste Collection key system. For further information, please contact the waste collection department.

Also note that it is more expensive to locate containers more than 15 meters away from a waste collection vehicle.

Waste bin renewal and maintenance

The containers unloaded by the City of Reykjavík are the property of the City. The City is therefore responsible for renewing and maintaining damaged containers. If damage to a container can be attributed to poor treatment, the resident may be charged for its renewal. Residents are responsible for cleaning the containers.

If the container at your home requires maintenance or renewal, please contact sorphirda@reykjavik.is by calling 411 1111 or by email to sorphirda@reykjavik.is. The condition of the container will be assessed, and it will be repaired or renewed if necessary.