Big Brother In Your Garbage Cans

from the rfid-me dept

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.

Filed Under: cleveland, garbage cans, rfid

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Richard (profile), 8 Sep 2010 @ 5:08am

    Re: I don't know...

    Sounds like you just needed something to complain on today.

    What you are saying is that you would rather be able to break the law without anyone checking you.

    But it's not your garbage or recycling receptecle. it probably belongs to the service provider. Like other utilities, this service has RULES. Live with them. Just as you do for every other utility including cable, phone, sewage, water, etc.

    You both miss the point here. The problem is that anyone can throw rubbish in your bin. (Or steal the contents of your recycle bin to pad their own.)

    Recycling may be a good thing, but petty, vindictive and flawed enforcement schemes will antagonise the people and give recycling a bad reputation.

    If the rules are stupid then you have to get them changed - for the sake of the reputation of the local authority and the concept of recycling as much as anything.

    Complaining here is the first step.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.