How does the Optibag system affect the work environment?

The collection of source sorted materials with the Optibag method means that existing installations can continue to be used, both inside and outside the residence/property.

This means that households can create their own routines for how the sorting at home should be conducted. Sorting work can be carried out in peace and quiet avoiding the need to make an “extra” trip to the dustbin.

It also means that the landlord and caretaker can adapt their installations and routines to attain the best possible work environment. Older and even handicapped people can carry out the sorting at home and then use existing installations thereby creating the best work environment for themselves and simultaneously reducing the risk of slipping or injuring themselves when waste needs to be disposed of. The group most affected by a choice in favour of source sorting are the personnel who collect the waste.

The work situation of collection vehicle drivers will become even more important in the future and those systems which increase the volume of heavy loads and irregular work scenarios mean that many transports will disappear altogether. For this reason, we have listed some important points which should be considered when selecting a source sorting system. We have also commented on the impact of collecting with the OptiBag method.

Inconvenient aromas
As the ultimate objective of disseminating information to users is to ensure all materials are contained in sealed bags, the problem of smells and aromas should be unchanged in comparison with existing systems or even improved. As dustbins do not only contain organic material, the aroma will not be the same as that generated by multi-container systems.

Mould spores and similar
Waste materials are contained in bags which normally lay in a plastic container. Thus the waste collection personnel do not come into contact with spores in the way they would if the waste had lain in a paper sack that “ventilates” when treated. With the OptiBag system, the frequency of collections can be planned and scheduled with optimum efficiency. Collection intervals can be arranged to occur before the spore levels becomes too high, whilst simultaneously ensuring the collection costs are not negatively affected.

Occurrence of flies and maggots
The same comments as above (mould spores and similar) apply. Obviously, maggots can be found in bags with food waste but the amounts are substantially less than in multi-container systems and fully developed flies are rarely if ever seen. Internally the container remains clean and free from dirt with no leachate collection at the bottom.

Rats, mice and birds
Sealed containers and receptacles are usually used in association with the OptiBag system. As long as the lid cover is closed, no problems should be encountered with these animals

As all materials are contained in sealed bags, the dustbin remains dry on the inside. Dry waste has a drying effect on the air in the bin and any risk of freezing as a result of condensation is therefore small.

Heavy loads/handling of containers
OptiBag is very well suited for use with side loaders. This handling method eliminates heavy loads and other types of dustbin handling. Existing installations can be used when collecting from rented dwellings, but if these prove unsuitable for the relevant work environment there is nothing to prevent them being modified. On the other hand, the flexibility is greater compared to other rival systems. With the OptiBag system only one single, common container needs to be handled meaning only the absolute minimum number of containers need to be lifted and moved.

Sting bites/cuts/lacerations
The risk of these kinds of injuries is small when using standard containers. It should however be noted that glass and sharp metal objects should not normally be found in waste. (During the introductory phase of sorting organic waste, the sorting of packaging also usually improves thereby reducing the amount of glass and metal deposited in household waste).

Vehicles and vehicle service
The OptiBag system does not require any special vehicles. Complicated, special arrangements and other solutions which can pose safety risks or require extra maintenance are not required. Because materials are deposited in bags, the loading space isn’t soiled or stained as much as with conventional systems. The daily cleaning of waste collection vehicles which transport food waste is thus rendered unnecessary. Normally, no press water gathers in the vehicle and no abnormal aromas emit from the vehicle.

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