RFID-Ready Trash Bins Can and Will Betray You

Ty Dunitz September 8 Offbeat

Remember when internet refrigerators were attempting to become popular, way back in, like… 2001? Or, rather, I’m pretty sure all they did was attempt – I dunno anyone with an internet-ready fridge. Anyway, speaking of, the internet is in the garbage now.

No, for real. This is Big Brother stuff, right here. In an attempt to increase recycling awareness, the city of Cleveland is installing RFID chips into new garbage and recycling bins, to keep tabs on your waste-handlings.

What are those chips for? Why, to tell on you. If you haven’t brought your recycling bin to the curb for awhile, sanitation folk will come to your house and root through your garbage. If more than 10% is recyclable material, you’re fined 100 bucks. Simple as that.

Currently, the project involves 25000 households, and the city plans to cover all of Cleveland in the next five years.

I’m all for recycling, and champion initiatives to increase awareness, but isn’t this a little excessive? I mean, what if they came to look through my trash for recyclables and found the bodies? This is a downright Facebookian violation of privacy, right here.

Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.

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  • nux

    British councils have wanted to do this for years

    shame šŸ˜‰

  • Instead of mandating it, why don’t they offer a few bucks off if you use your recycling bin? People don’t like being told what to do, but they are dumb enough to go along with a discount, even if the price is raised so that discount is more of a waiver.

  • I like their use of “Facebookian violation of privacy”.

  • They want to monitor everything you do so you are under their control. This is just a start. I am not a conspiracy theorist but if this is happening and they want to RFID book bags in one school and monitor pre-schoolers in another it is a bad sign.

  • Phil E. Drifter

    Why do people gotta be irresponsible slobs? It’s f*cking 2010 (according to an apparently jewish state rep I know on facebook it’s 5771 now, new year started last night) Who cares if they track your trash, you should be contributing and if that means keeping recycleables separate, i say “you don’t know how goddamn lucky you are, so keep ’em separate, b*tch, and there won’t be no problems…”

  • You know, I’d almost be tempted to pay the 100 bucks to watch (and record) some guys poking through my rubbish – you just gotta be sure to plant some really nasty stuff in there too! =D

  • Wow that’s a pretty crazy way to use RFID chips. I wonder how it will go over.

  • Davidt

    The trash recycling industry is under mounting pressure to improve operational and more functional results. Use of RFID technology has a proven track record for many other verticals such as retail and access security. The use of RFID in the recycling industry is showing some significant positive returns. Engineers from Nephsystem Technologies have developed a handheld RFID based system (N300 Series) that could identify a recycling bin by its household by using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips embedded in the bins. Bins are scanned and weighed right at the curb, and the system tallies credits for households that are above average for recycling. This handy device also has capabilities of combining together with other wireless, locating systems including GPS and Barcode scanner, plus its optional GPRS transmitter, the handheld system makes the recycling industry smarter and greener. The solution has been deployed in some European countries and will be selected by more and more customers due to new waste recycling regulation. For more information, pleaseĀ visit us at http://www.nephsystem.com/product.aspx?cid=21Ā