Underground containers

Underground containers are containers where part of the container, where the waste is collected, is underground. Underground containers can be an economical solution for larger multi-family dwellings, apartment complexes, and in dense residential areas. If you want to install an underground container, you start by contacting the Planning Officer.

What are underground containers?

Underground containers are containers where part of the container, where the waste is collected, is underground, and the surface has a hatch used to discharge waste. The shape of the opening of the container can change based on the type of waste the container is intended for. The type of waste each container is intended for may change during the service life of the container, therefore it is recommended to select openings suitable for more than one type of waste. The surface size can vary in both volume and height.

Please note that the holder of ground rights is responsible for ensuring that a waste solution is suitable for all the waste generated on the premises. When deciding the number and size of containers, you must ensure having space for enough containers, as it is more difficult to increase the number of containers if they overfill, which may cause trash to accumulate around the containers.

Djúpgámar við Freyjutorg

Location and quantity

Underground containers shall be on the lot for the building in question. The containers shall be in the same cluster on the same lot and with the same access to all of them. However, it is possible to have improved access to return recyclables. The number and exact location of containers depends on the number of dwellings, but a cluster of underground containers shall generally not be further than 75 meters from the entrance to the building.

In developed areas, access for residents and unloading trucks to the containers may need to be pre-designed. In exceptional cases where it can be shown, with specific justification, that it is not possible to locate underground containers on the same lot as the building, it is permissible to locate underground containers on a separate land plot connected to the building lot, a so-called accessory lot. Note, however, that the lots must have the same owner.

The final type of underground container and the arrangement of their location and access for collection are subject to approval by the Reykjavík City Office of Environmental Quality.

Costs and Responsibilities

The purchase of containers, their operation, and activities related to making and preparing them, whether as a box, container, hatch, or other related equipment, shall be at the expense and responsibility of the holder of ground rights.

The cleaning of underground containers, i.e., the hatch, safety platform, and the emptying of water from the concrete box around underground containers, and the care of the environment, are the responsibility of the holder of ground rights. The City of Reykjavík reserves the right to refuse unloading if the containers or surroundings are not clean and tidy enough. Cleaning may be undertaken at the expense of the holder of ground rights if said holder does not respond to requests to complete the cleaning. The holder of ground rights is responsible for the maintenance of containers and related equipment.

Fee schedule