In Iceland local authorities determine the arrangements for collection of household and industrial waste in their community and adopt regional waste treatment plans. The Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources sets national policy on waste treatment and waste prevention for the country as a whole, while the Environment Agency is responsible for enforcement of legislation on waste treatment.
Treatment of waste is aimed at minimising its production and utilising resources optimally through waste prevention measures, reusing whatever is possible, recycling of waste materials, utilisation of waste for energy production and finally disposal where no other routes are possible.
Waste treatment fees levied on various product classes are intended to ensure that parties who produce waste through their consumption pay the cost of its treatment. The Icelandic Recycling Fund handles the administration and allocation of waste treatment fees.
Iceland was the first country to adopt a nation-wide system of recycling fees for all disposable drink containers. The fee is levied on all disposable drink containers to encourage their recycling by reimbursing the fee to consumers who return the containers. Recycling Ltd. handles receipt of drink containers, payment of recycling fees for their return, prepares their export and sale for recycling.