The municipality of Eskilstuna was among the first in Sweden to offer its residents property-based collection, and when the demands of the national goals increased, the municipality transitioned to an optical sorting solution from Envac as early as 2010. Environmental goals of 50% waste sorting were achieved within just a few months.

Eskilstuna municipality’s long-term waste strategy aims for a zero waste vision, with goals, policies, and measures toward a resource-efficient and non-toxic circular society through an adopted municipal waste management ordinance. The long-term waste strategy aligns with the national waste plan, national strategy for the circular economy, and the EU’s green requirements.

The choice was made for optical sorting so that residents would have a simple and user-friendly system for both food waste and packaging. It’s a flexible system that reduces environmental impact and energy consumption. Color sorting makes it easy for residents to do the right thing by placing the different fractions in bags of different colors but then throwing all the bags into the same container.

The facility, which sorts out six fractions, is owned and operated by ESEM (Eskilstuna Strängnäs Energy and Environment Ltd). Eskilstuna today has several municipalities connected to the system, and they are among the leading municipalities in Sweden in recycling.

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18 000 tons of waste per year

in capacity

6 fractions

Food waste, plastic, paper, magazines, metal and residual waste

175 000 users

connected to the optical sorting facility

With color sorting, we can easily achieve our set environmental goals.

Lowered fees

In 2023, Eskilstuna municipality, as one of the few municipalities, was able to lower its waste collection and disposal fees for residents with maintained low fees throughout 2024. The optical sorting facility contributes to this by being a flexible system where it is easy to expand the number of fractions.

In its decision for waste collection fees for 2024, the municipality writes:

“The new packaging ordinance comes into effect on January 1, 2024, and from 2027, mandatory property-based collection (FNI) will be introduced. The municipality was among the first in Sweden to offer its residents FNI for packaging and made early investments in an optical waste facility. Therefore, no need for fee increases is seen this year.”


In 2017, Eskilstuna and Strängnäs introduced a seventh color/fraction and became among the first municipalities in the country to test sorting textiles with property-based collection. No expansion was required; instead, the change was easily made in the camera system that controls waste sorting.

In 2016, the facility was expanded with an additional receiving fraction to be able to accept waste from Örebro.

In 2013, ESEM, together with Envac Sorting, developed techniques for the post-treatment of the plastic fraction to further refine the material.”

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Our innovative waste collection system helps shape smart and sustainable cities. By reducing emissions and providing clean, green and hygienic waste collection for both residents and commercial operators, we want to improve the quality of life in the city.

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