Optibag - Optical sorting

Optibag is a fully automated optical sorting waste management system.

This is how it works

Users range from households through to commercial developments including restaurants and shops. Users are provided with different coloured waste bags, which correspond to each different waste stream. For example, green could be used for food, red for paper and yellow for cardboard packaging.

The waste bags are placed in the designated chute, bin or container and then collected with a conventional waste truck and transported to the Optibag plant. Upon arrival, the waste bags are dumped into a receiving pit and transferred to a conveyor belt. At this point, no separation of the bags has taken place.

Once on the conveyor belt, the bags are sorted automatically using camera technology that recognises the colour of the bag.

When a green (food waste) bag is detected a signal is sent which pushes the bag off the main conveyor belt, on to a second belt and then directed to its appropriate container. Depending on the waste stream this could be a bale press or a compost plant.


Less space is required for waste storage and waste logistics are improved. All waste bags are collected in the same waste chute or bin so there is no need for a special recycling room or house to hold several bins for the different waste streams.

Lorry miles - and therefore carbon emissions - are reduced as a result of collecting every waste stream in one single batch.

More important, given the simplicity of the system, waste sorting is conducted at source and not at a recycling station. Evidence suggests that the easier it is for people to handle separated waste, the more they tend to sort at source. Optibag addresses this and makes waste handling a straightforward process.

Envac Optibag AB is a fully owned subsidiary within the Envac Group.