Policy wonks invade your recycling bin

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RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips are everywhere, mostly being used for good. Since they are only 1/8”  long and cost 15 cents each, these tiny little receivers can be sewn into your shirt tail to guarantee your dry cleaner never loses another Facconable. They can be inserted into your cat, so you can learn exactly where Fluffy got flattened by an Escalade. In some circles, this is called closure.

A recycling bin smart enough bto report recycling violators.

There better not be any politically incorrect material in here.

But now, in the hands of local enviro-wonks, they are being used for darker purposes. In Boise, ID, Charlotte, NC, Cleveland, OH, Dayton, OH,  and Flint, MI, RFID chips are being attached to your recycling bin. The purpose?  To tell garbage trucks if your recycling bin is at the curb.

Spokesheads for Dayton and Charlotte say their cities are using the program as a carrot instead of a stick. In Dayton, citizens who recycle are eligible for rebates. And in Charlotte, they plan to find out which neighborhoods aren’t recycling, and start educational campaigns there.

But Dayton’s big brother, Cleveland, is taking a path only Dennis Kucinich could love Recently, Cleveland’s city council voted to install these chips on 25,000 bins, and plans to put one in all 150,000 bins in the city.

Why the interest in your used yogurt cartons?  As my mother is fond of saying, “It’s not the principle of the thing; it’s the money.” It costs Cleveland $30 a ton to haul away trash, but the city gets paid $26 a ton to recycle it. So if an RFID chip shows that a recyclable cart hasn’t been brought to the curb in weeks, a trash supervisor will sort through the trash for recyclables  If  the trash contains more than 10 percent recyclable material, the fine could be $100.

This expanded pilot program should generate about $170,000 in annual revenue. But the new equipment and bins cost $2.5 million, so it will take nearly 15 years for this system to pay out. Cleveland will expand this snoopfest by 25,000 households a year until nearly all of the city’s 150,000 residences are included. Their new trash ordinance also features fines for excessive trash that range from $250 to $500.

To educate residents about the new collection system and recycling program, Cleveland will begin a public-service campaign. It’s a shame they can’t hire George Orwell to write their press releases, public service announcements, and statement stuffers.

Source: Fox News
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/09/07/trash-police-invade-thanks-government-stimulus/

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