OBS Lillestrøm Air solution

OBS Lillestrøm achieves record-high bottle return volume four years in a row with help from the TOMRA R1 multi-feed

Lillestrøm, NORWAY: In 2022, OBS Lillestrøm was the store that processed the largest volume of used container returns in the whole country. This achievement was made possible through the allure of TOMRA R1 and the superior recycling experience it offers.

OBS Lillestrøm is a hypermarket in the Greater Oslo region of South-East Norway that is part of the COOP group and highly motivated to continuously improve their customers’ shopping experience. In 2018, the hypermarket took part in a pilot project for TOMRA R1, the first multi-feed reverse vending machine from TOMRA. As a matter of fact, OBS Lillestrøm was one out of just five stores in Norway and Sweden that were part of the pilot and the hypermarket’s machine even went viral on social media, before the official launch of TOMRA R1.

The superior recycling experience

TOMRA R1 allows recyclers to pour in over 100 empty beverage containers in one go – rather than inserting them one by one. The innovative technology makes recycling up to five times faster than single-feed solutions. Also, the process is much cleaner as recyclers no longer need to get their hands sticky by touching the containers.

In addition to the ability to empty many containers at once and with minimal mess, TOMRA Flow Technology means bottles and cans are scanned and registered with 360-degree instant recognition, resulting in a seamless and speedy experience. As a result, TOMRA R1 offers customers a superior recycling experience– one that is quicker, cleaner, and smoother than before.

A big customer magnet

A TOMRA customer survey found that among users of TOMRA R1 in Norway, Sweden, and Finland, they all preferred the multi-feed recycling that TOMRA R1 offers over single-feed recycling. The reasons cited were that time is saved, there is less physical effort, better hygiene, and cleaner bottle return areas in the stores. 40% of consumers choose where they go to recycle based on their recycling experience, according to a 2018 survey by TOMRA. Customers will even travel further to return bottles and cans if it means avoiding having to do so one by one, especially when they have large quantities of containers. Consequently, OBS Lillestrøm has become a very popular location for deposits.


Since we have such good capacity, it has also become very popular to deposit here. Many companies and sports teams come here to deposit large garbage bags with empty goods, so here there are people in front of the vending machines from morning to evening."

COOP Obs Lillestrøm manager
Marcus Løkkeborg Butikksjef, OBS Lillestrøm
With TOMRA R1, the store has been able to delight new and existing customers alike, quadrupling the volume of returned containers between 2018 and 2021. According to Marcus Løkkeborg, “Many companies and sports teams come here to deposit large garbage bags with empty goods, so here there are people in front of the vending machines from morning to evening.” More containers recycled means more recyclers visiting the store, and recyclers bring as much as 70% extra store traffic. This store traffic occurs because consumers will typically spend their deposit refund in the same store they recycled at.

Obs Lillestrøm manager
As Marcus Løkkeborg says, “We’ve had people say, ‘Since your store has such a nice machine, we’ll buy our groceries here at the same time’.” What’s more is that a TOMRA customer survey found that 45% of shoppers will spend more money in the store than originally planned when they have a deposit refund to utilize, meaning stores that employ TOMRA R1 enjoy greater turnover. “The TOMRA R1 is a customer magnet. We’ve had people say, ‘Since your store has such a nice machine, we’ll buy our groceries here at the same time. Having these machines is a competitive advantage. Customers think it's fun. Everyone wants to try it out.”

A new record with TOMRA R1 and Air Solution

OBS Lillestrøm is the store that collects the largest number of empty containers in Norway. Since the installation of TOMRA R1 in 2018, the store has been breaking records year after year.

In most stores with reverse vending machines, the collected containers end up in recycling bags which must be manually loaded onto return trucks by store staff. At OBS Lillestrøm, the process is now fully automated. Workers no longer need to spend time packing away the containers in the backroom. The new Air solution in combination with TOMRA R1, means containers are sucked through a pipe that goes directly into a container outside the store, which is then collected once per week and driven to Infinitum’s facility.

Marcus Løkkeberg is very satisfied with this solution. “It is a much smoother process in the back. With the huge quantities of cans and bottles we receive, handling the sacks and taking them out for collection had got to be a lot of work. We no longer need to do any of that, as everything is automatic. It also means less mess for the people working here and makes things even more efficient for the customers. I think some people come here because this is where they have the very best deposit return experience,” says Løkkeberg.

Thanks to this new solution, OBS Lillestrøm was able to take advantage of an even greater bottle return capacity and break Norway’s record for the largest number of bottles and cans returned, fourth year running. And, with 8.2 million containers collected, a new record has been set!

  • 2019: 4.4 million containers collected
  • 2020: 6.4 million containers collected
  • 2021: 7.7 million containers collected
  • 2022: 8.2 million containers collected


Installed reverse vending system