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Five decades as a dedicated actor in the recycling industry and the world of waste management

Orwak’s 50th anniversary this year is a significant milestone and an inspiration on the road ahead! It is the time to reminisce, to reflect upon the highlights in the history that brought us to where we are today, but most importantly to look ahead to future experiences and trends, the challenges and opportunities they bring about, and envisioning our next innovations, designs and solutions the coming decades!

50 years are a long time and a constant development through different phases in life. It is not just about being a company, a legal entity, a place where things are constructed, produced and marketed - it is about the essence of being and the human side. The heart and soul of Orwak are - and have always been - the dedicated people contributing in different ways with their expertise and engagement! One was the founder Olof Robert Wilhelm Åkerberg, who came up with the original idea and gave Orwak its name based on his initials (K = Komprimatorer “compactors”).

Others are employees within the organization, partners in external sales and service companies and they are all devoted to representing Orwak, to make a difference in the world of recycling and in the everyday life of our customers, to work on continuous development and improvement. Time goes by. It is a long chain forged of valuable links stretching over half a century. Some built Orwak from the start and left long ago, some are working for us for decades and some have just begun their journey with us. Together we are strong and make Orwak the best it can be!


It all began in 1971 in small town Sävsjö in Sweden. The place is in the countryside surrounded by deep forests, in a region with long industrial tradition and defined by entrepreneurial spirit. It is an environment that fosters good values and encourages innovations. Waste management is a classic challenge and in the 70s, it was all about efficiency, cleanliness and volume reduction. That is where the idea to design the first waste compactor was born out of the genuine desire to make things better, to contribute in a valuable way in many businesses.

Compacting waste in a drum inside a plastic bag! It was a simple idea really, but a great invention! It made us the pioneer in the industry and many actors in the waste management sector looked upon us a rebellion at the time! Our first in-bag waste compactor, Orwak 5030, was patented and with a strong belief in the virtues of this solution we introduced it to restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, stores; to every place that handled a certain waste volume!

The sales team was out on the road, on tours in station wagons with the waste compactor on the trailer displaying and demonstrating the machine and the audience got convinced by putting the machine to the test in their own business. Eager and grateful for the warm reception and encouraged by the success in Sweden, we soon traveled far and wide presenting the unique solution at world exhibitions, introducing it in new markets, gradually building a strong network of dedicated distributors in many countries. Follow us on a trip around the world and through five decades! Read the entire article:

Orwak 5030 in bag compactor in use in the 70s


  • Svetsaregatan 4, 576 33 Sävsjö, Sweden
  • Sandra Warenhed, Orwak AB