RFID in Trash Bins Leading to Fines in Cleveland
The United Sates has been becoming very “green” or “eco-friendly” lately. Cleveland is helping Americans continue to save the environment by forcing Clevelanders to recycle. Cleveland has a $2.5 million waste-collection system, and as part of this, the city has decided to give each resident a high-tech trash bins embedded with RFID tags and a couple sensors that monitor the amount of recycling. The smart trash bin could detect and measure different variables that would determine what type of waste material was thrown in it. For the most part however, weight would be the primary information that it would collect. After the sensors collect the needed information, the RFID chip would then process and collect all of the data gathered by the sensors to transmit it to a base station. This base station would be the Waste Collection Committee in the city. The RFID tags track recycling by households. By using the tags, the trash and recycling carts can be weighed an accounted for by trucks fitted with compatible technology. If 10 percent of the trash in the garbage bin is recyclable, Cleveland residents could face $100 fines. The household will first get a warning before the fine because the smart bins are still in a trial. The RFID tags will also help the city track its staff’s performance. The city launched a pilot program in 2007 for 15,000 houses, and last week the city council voted to extend the program to 25,000 households, and eventually extending out to all of the city’s residences.
Although people could may criticize this by saying Big Brother is spying on us or something, I believe that this will have a great impact on the city of Cleveland. The city is now able to promote recycling and help keep the streets and neighborhoods cleaner and safer. Cities are always seen as dirty while also having an extremely high crime rate. This enforcement of recycling will help the city improve in both of those areas. Also, it will save the city a chunk of change. It costs Cleveland $30 per ton to haul trash when the city actually gets paid $26 per ton to recycle. The money that is saved or earned could be used to improve the city by building recreational centers, paving roads, and creating jobs for the citizens.
I have RFID chips in my recycling bins in Cherry Hill, NJ. These were an addition to the township in 2009. Although the township does not fine for throwing away recyclable good, this program still motivates people to recycle. I believe that my town has a better approach to motivating their citizens by using a rewards program instead of financial punishments. Cherry Hill motivates their citizens by measuring the amount of material each home recycles and then converting that activity into reward dollars that can be used at hundreds of local and national rewards partners, such as grocery stores and target! Overall, I think that the city’s motivation of recycling and taking care of our planet is a great idea which ever way they choose to do it.
This is a video of RecycleBank. This is a similar concept of the smart bins that of which Cleveland uses. RecycleBank is used in Cherry Hill, NJ