Reader Stan alerted us to a recent report out of Cleveland, where the city will apparently be placing RFID chips in recycling bins
to monitor whether or not you've been a good little earth saver lately. The way it works, apparently, is that the system will monitor whether or not you bring your recycling bin to the curb, and if you haven't in a while, "a trash supervisor will sort through the trash for recyclables" on the assumption that if you're not recycling, you're probably throwing stuff out. After checking those trash cans for recyclables, if more than 10 percent recyclable material is found, a $100 fine could be assessed to the home owner.
Not surprisingly, the reasoning for this has a lot more to do with money than saving the earth's resources:
Recycling is good for the environment and the city's bottom line, officials said. Cleveland pays $30 a ton to dump garbage in landfills, but earns $26 a ton for recyclables.
While perhaps it's a good thing to see something "good" like recycling line up with a way for the city to earn extra money, it still seems pretty intrusive to monitor how often people recycle.