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Svanur waste sorting station formally opened

A crowd was on hand to witness the formal opening of HB Grandi’s Svanur waste sorting station yesterday at its Nordurgardur location. Guests were also given the opportunity to look over the new buildings at the Nordurgardur site, built to accommodate HB Grandi’s new workshops and packaging store, and to enjoy an array of delicacies provided by Akranes subsidiary company Nordanfiskur ehf. 

This addition to the company’s facilities makes it possible to maintain all of its activities in Reykjavík at a single location without the need for rented space and areas for fleet workshops, spare parts stores and fishing gear.

HB Grandi CEO Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson welcomed the guests. In his speech he mentioned the reasons the company had invested in the construction of the waste sorting station.

‘The reason for the company’s decision to embark on building this waste handling facility is simply that we feel that we have a duty to treat our environment with as much respect as we can. Our experience in Vopnafjördur has showed us that with a waste sorting station such as this one, we could avoid the need to dispose of a great deal of recyclable material. We simply want to demonstrate the will to make this happen, and that’s why this building is here. Although there will undoubtedly be a few Icelandic krona that come in for everything that goes to be recycled, this will hardly come close to meeting the running costs, let alone the initial costs.’

Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson said that HB Grandi’s directors have noticed the keen interest of its staff both ashore and at sea in the opportunities waste sorting offers, and this interest will be harnessed to reduce as far as possible the volume of material that needs to be disposed of or otherwise wasted. To set the project off to a good start, it was decided to run a competition among the staff to choose a name for the new facility. Participation was good, with 404 suggestions from 89 participants. From these many excellent suggestions a single one needed to be chosen and the committee was unanimous in choosing the Svanur (Swan) name for the station. Four staff had suggested this name and they each have been awarded ISK100,000 for their suggestions.

Minister of environmental affairs Sigrún Magnúsdóttir also made a speech, remarking that the area around Grandi and Örfirisey are particularly dear to her. At one time, this district had been the trading centre of the town of Reykjavík, and today this area is the energetic location for boosting employment as well as being a destination for visitors to Iceland. She said that Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson had not had to ask her twice if she would be prepared to say a few words on the occasion. As chair of the Vik maritime museum she had been closely involved in the area’s rejuvenation in a building that had previously housed the old Reykjavík Municipal Fishing Company, and HB Grandi had contributed to this rejuvenation.

At the end of the opening ceremony, Tómas Knútsson, spokesman for the Blue Army, was awarded a special commendation by HB Grandi with a financial contribution of ISK1,000,000 towards bolstering the organisations efforts to clean the shoreline. Tómas Knútsson said that this had been a special day for environmental issues. He himself had worked as a volunteer in this field for twenty years and was nowhere near finished. The next stage would be to reach agreements with local authorities around the country to establish a special cleaning day for rubbish, and plastic in particular, to be collected on a national scale. For each kilo of plastic collected from the environment, the Icelandic Forest Service would supply a sapling to be planted. This would have a double effect, disposing of garbage while also contributing to storing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.