Let’s Keep The Christmas Lights Alive

A recycling initiative for tea lights has now been established and it will be effective until 31 January 2018. 

The aluminum in the candles may be returned to recycling and reception centres around the country. 

The aluminum may also be put into the green recycling bins available at Gámaþjónustan and Íslenska gámafélagið.

The aluminum may also be put into the collection containers of the boy scouts in the metropolitan area. 

The purpose of the initiative is to encourage the public to return the aluminum for recycling and increase public awareness on the importance of recycling the aluminum used in homes and workplaces. 

Here a FAQ with further information on the initiative may be read and here is the Facebook page of the initiative. 

A Thousand Tea Lights Make a Bicycle

The initiative is supported by Endurvinnslan, Fura málmendurvinnsla, Gámaþjónustan, Grænir skátar, Íslenska gámafélagið, Málmsteypan Hella, Plastiðjan Bjarg, Samál – Samtök álframleiðenda, Samtök iðnaðarins og Sorpa.

Approximately 3 million tea lights are used in Iceland every year. To put things into context, only a thousand tea lights are needed to make a bicycle. 

The aluminum gathered will by pressed by Fura málmendurvinnsla and recycled in Iceland but more info on how it will be put to use will be made available when the initiative expires in the end of January.

Public Awareness Growing

The idea of the initiative came from Samál, the association of aluminum producers in Iceland, as aluminum producers have launched similar initiatives in Norway, Finland, Sweden and in Ireland. 

“Everybody is aware of how the trend is in society. People want to recycle and contribute and reduce waste, classify and return for recycling,” says Pétur Blöndal, the managing director of Samál. “All the companies and associations supporting the initiative were very positive from the beginning so we didn’t have anything to wait for!”

The Recycling of Aluminum Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions

What makes aluminum special is that it can be recycled over and over again without it losing any of its original characteristics. Only 5% of the energy originally required to create it is needed to recycle it.

This means that great value is created by recycling of aluminum which helps support the operations of recycling centres all around Europe. 

Furthermore, energy savings from recycling of aluminum significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions as generally most of the emissions due to aluminum production worldwide result from the generation of energy.

Important That Everybody Comes Together

In order for the initiative to be successful, it’s important that everybody contributes to it, both the public and companies. 

„The role of Gámaþjónustan in the initiative is to gather the tea light aluminum cups. We keep special containers for them in our reception centres all around the country. We also encourage our customers that use the Recycling Bin to put the aluminum cups in it. We receive them and bring them to their destination,“ says Hannes Örn Ólafsson, CEO of Gámaþjónustan, 

Candle Remains Recycled at Plastiðjan Bjarg

Helgi Lárusson, CEO of Endurvinnslan Recycling, welcomes this recycling effort. “Endurvinnslan Recycling welcomes this initiative of Samál to recycle the tea light cups. Our company understands the environmental benefits of recycling aluminum as we have collected aluminum cans for recycling for almost 30 years.”

Furthermore, the remains of the candles in the cups will be recycled at Plastiðjan Bjarg Recycling. There the remains can be used and work is thereby created for individuals in a sheltered workplace. The initiative serves to inform Icelanders on the importance of recycling and reduce waste. Endurvinnslan Recycling wholeheartedly supports the program and will encourage its agents to take part in it,” says Helgi.

We would like to draw your attention to the Facebook page of the initiative #endurvinnumalid and here a FAQ on it can be read.