I’ve written about incentive-based recycling programs before but a program that penalizes non-recyclers?

This is what’s about to be unrolled in Cleveland: a $2.5 million program in which household recycling bins are assigned barcodes and embedded with radio frequency identification chips that communicate with “trash supervisors.” If a bin is not taken to the curb for collection on a regular basis, a trash supervisor is alerted and will pay a visit to the offending household to root through the refuse. If it’s found that the recycling bin has remained idle because recyclables are being place in normal trash bins, the household can be fined $100 (a trash bin must be filled with more than 10 percent recyclable materials).

Yikes. Cleveland’s “smart” bin program will go into effect next year with an initial 25,000 households and expand by 25,000 households annually until all 150,000 Cleveland residences are equipped with tattletale microchipped recycling bins. Not only will the program strike fear in the hearts of half-assed recyclers but it will also benefit the city’s bottom line: for every ton of trash landfilled, the city has to pay $30, but for every ton recycled, the city makes $26. 

What do you think of Cleveland’s new recycling scheme? Too intrusive (on that note, check out my earlier post on Belgium's Zoom Into Your Roof program). And what in the world happens if you happen to go on vacation for a few weeks?  

[Gizmodo], [Cleveland.com]

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