Saturday, October 16, 2010

Your Recycling Bin Knows When You Don't Recycle...and Tattles on You

Pity the poor citizens of Cleveland, Ohio. They recycle. Like the good citizens of any city, some people in Cleveland are more enthusiastic recyclers than others. But soon in Cleveland recycling bins will be equipped with an RFID chip that monitors the bin's motion, and if it's not brought to the curb for a few weeks, the recycling can will automatically tell on you and call a city inspector.

What happens next is that a human stops by and plows through your trash can. If you trash can contains more than 10 percent recyclable stuff, you get a nice $100 fine.

Cleveland is doing this for the environment. Maybe. It's also doing it for its bottom line:  It costs the city $30 a ton to dispose of trash, but Cleveland receives $26 a ton for recyclables. There's money in those recycling cans and Cleveland wants to make sure its citizens help it get that money.

Lest you think that this idea is confined to the wilds of Ohio, the same tattletale recycling system is being deployed in other communities and is coming to Alexandria, Virgina. Is DC next?

Thanks to Gizmodo for bringing this story to light.

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