Oslo nears ambitious food waste collection targets with Envac

Press release
Oslo is on course to meet its 50 per cent food waste recycling target after Agency for Waste Management, the city’s waste management department, published its latest waste collection survey that revealed how the Norwegian capital is recycling 46.4 per cent – up from 34.8 per cent in 2010.
©EGE Klemetsrud sorteringsanläggning

The findings follow the City of Oslo’s decision in 2012 to make source sorting of food waste mandatory and work towards achieving 50 per cent food waste recycling by 2018.

The increase from 43.9 per cent in 2016 also points towards continued growth and provides hope that Oslo can meet its target before the end of 2018

The Municipality of Oslo claims that much of its success is attributable to its citizens’ efforts to source sort their household waste and Envac’s Optibag system, which is part of the city’s waste collection strategy. The system enables waste deposited in colour-coded bags to be automatically sorted at the end point using sophisticated optical sorting technology.

The report also highlights how food waste recycling, which is carried out in green coloured bags, has increased from 33.3 per cent in 2012 when the City of Oslo’s first of two Envac Optibag sorting systems now in place became operational.

Nils Finn Lumholdt, Production Director, Material recovery, at the Waste-To-Energy Agency, who is responsible for the sorting plants, comments: “This is a huge achievement not only for Oslo, but for Norway, too. We knew that achieving 50 per cent would be a challenge, however the Optibag technology has delivered pinpoint accuracy and enabled us to send food waste to be used in biogas and bio fertilizer production, and plastics to be used as part of a successful plastics recycling programme. We’re delighted with the results and extremely very pleased to have found a partner in Envac Optibag.”

The study also reveals how Envac’s Optibag system has helped the City of Oslo boost its plastic packaging, collected using blue coloured bags, to 29.7 per cent – up from 20.2 per cent in 2012.

Joakim Karlsson, Chief Executive at Envac AB, adds: “Envac Optibag is now leading the way when it comes to developing sustainable waste collection solutions that can significantly improve municipalities’ efficiency ratings and environmental credentials. The City of Oslo has demonstrated what can be achieved when combining aspirational targets with cutting edge waste collection technology and I am proud that we have played a part in its much-deserved success.”


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©EGE Klemetsrud sorteringsanläggning, Norway

About Envac Optibag

Envac Optibag is the inventor of the so called optical waste sorting technology which is based on the colour identification of waste bags, whereas the users are sorting their waste in specially designed bags, which are collected as a mixed stream and the sorted centrally in an optical sorting plant.

Envac Optibag has installed 25 sorting systems in predominantly Sweden and Norway. Over two million users sort their daily waste in differently coloured bags in the two countries. The Swedish city Eskilstuna municipality’s has an optical sorting plant from Envac Optibag which currently sorts seven fractions from its households. 

The technology has proven to be very user friendly and easy to understand. The introduction of the Optibag system does not require any change of waste collection equipment or infrastructure. It is compatible with all existing waste collection technologies.