Multi-family housing

There are different rules for waste collection in multi-family dwellings and single-family dwellings. This is because changes in the number and types of bins in a multi-family residence affect the fees residents pay for garbage collection.

Number and types of bins

In a multi-family residence, the majority of owners is required to request any modifications to waste collection containers. The fees paid for the waste collection depend on the number and type of bins, so such changes affect all residents in the building.

If you live in a smaller multi-family dwelling that does not have an active homeowner association, an email from residents is enough to show they agree on the changes.

Please note that the board of the homeowner association must request changes affecting the fees for waste management.

You can reach out by phone at 411 1111 or through the email

We Are All Responsible!

Trash storage rooms are generally in the common property of multi-owner buildings, and all owners share responsibility in solidum for the shared space. The homeowners’ association and the owners are liable for the common costs and are therefore liable for costs incurred for incorrectly sorted waste.

If it is proven that one owner is causing costs to the homeowners’ association by not sorting the waste, the homeowners’ association can reclaim the expense according to the general right of requisition. The homeowners’ association may also set house rules that cover the sorting of waste. If it is proven that one owner repeatedly does not follow the rules, the homeowners’ association may impose a ban on the owner’s right to reside or stay in the building.

A clarification of the rights and obligations of the owner can be found in the Multi-Owner Buildings Act.

Cost Allocation

The City of Reykjavík is required by law to collect the fee for the collection of household waste and the operation of drop-off centers and recycling centers. The amount of the fee is set out in schedule of Reykjavík City’s waste management fees that are collected along with the property tax. Fees for household refuse in multi-owner buildings are divided based on the owners’ share in the common part. The ownership share is calculated based on the share of the total area held by each owner.

The City of Reykjavík cannot decide independently to change the collection of waste collection fees at the request of residents. Article 46 of the Multi-Owner Buildings Act states that homeowners’ associations in multi-owner buildings may set out a different method of sharing common costs other than based on proportional sharing. The City of Reykjavík is not involved in such an agreement and such an agreement has no force against the City—it is a private law agreement within the homeowners’ association.

Information booklet