GAJA is an important climate issue
The products of GAJA include 12,000 tonnes of soil improver and 3 million Nm3 of methane every year. The methane is sufficient to supply 4–6,000 passenger cars or approximately 60 city buses. It could also be used to generate electricity for about 2,000 households.
Benefits of GAJA
Through the processing operation in GAJA, we recover both the energy and nutrients that can be found in household waste.
Landfilling of organic and combustible waste from households in the Greater Reykjavík Area will be discontinued. This is a huge climate issue, as it will save on emissions corresponding to 90,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. This is equivalent to taking approximately 40,000 petrol and diesels cars off the roads every year.
The method is quite simple for residents, as no special bin will be required for biological waste. The dynamic pre-processing of household waste in the receiving and sorting plant ensures that all organic materials are used. Other materials, e.g. plastics and metals, are removed from organic materials in the process and are sent for further sorting and processing. The plan is for more than 95% recycling and recovery of waste from households in the Greater Capital Area when the plant is in full operation. The post-processing of the composting material in GAJA, moreover, ensures the purity of the soil improver.
We recover e.g. nutrients and energy from diapers and pet waste, something that will probably never be collected separately.
All processing of soil improver will be indoors. This will meet the requirements of the neighbours of the plant as regards to complete minimisation of odour pollution. In comparable plants in Europe, parts of the processing are commonly carried out outdoors.
Soil improver made from organic household waste
Wind and water erosion and the deterioration of vegetation is one of the largest environmental problems that Icelanders face. Approximately 40% of the country is considered considerably, significantly or very eroded.
Soil improvers made from organic waste can be a powerful addition to help re-vegetate the land and will help in the effort to bind carbon in vegetation.
There are several locations near the capital area that require reclamation, and a range of entities have expressed their interest in using the material for reclamation and reforestation.
In addition, there are numerous other advantages involved in reclaiming badly eroded land.