Cleveland’s RFID-enabled Recycle Bins Report When You’re Not Using Them

Cleveland’s RFID-enabled Recycle Bins Report When You’re Not Using Them

ByGroovy Green Sep 9, 2010

Cleveland’s City Council recently passed a $2.5 million measure to bring RFID-equipped recycling bins to 25,000 homes over the course of the next year. Hey, nothing like encouraging a little green behavior. But this one carries a catch:

The chips will allow city workers to monitor how often residents roll carts to the curb for collection. If a chip show a recyclable cart hasn’t been brought to the curb in weeks, a trash supervisor will sort through the trash for recyclables.

Trash carts containing more than 10 percent recyclable material could lead to a $100 fine, according to Waste Collection Commissioner Ronnie Owens.

Yikes. I mean, everyone should be recycling, but is imposing a sort of “Big Brother” technology necessary? I can see this as being yet another controversial (and wildly blown-out-of-proportion) example of “environmental liberalism” interfering in the lives of people. Why not just fine someone if they don’t have a recycling bin out and full next to their garbage? And do we really need trash supervisors spending time looking for recyclables in our garbage?

I’m firmly on the side of wanting more composting and recycling in this country, but something like this just seems a bit imposing. There’s got to be a better way to convince people to recycle.