Tattletale Trash Cans

EDITORIAL: Tattletale trash cans

Nanny-state spy chips watch your garbage

In the never-ending quest to extract money from the public, municipal busybodies have turned to spying on your trash. Cleveland wants its residents to participate in the feel-good ritual of recycling. On Wednesday, the City Council voted to expand installation of radio-frequency identification (RFID) spy chips in everyone’s dumpsters to track the trash and eventually dish out $100 fines to anyone who fails to participate.

The town’s high-tech garbage trucks are capable of weighing each trash can as it is collected. Spy chips enable the system to track precisely how much and what kind of material each home disposes on a weekly basis. Should the recycled bin’s contents fail to meet an arbitrary threshold, municipal revenue agents can be dispatched to rummage through and assess the offending homeowner’s rubbish so the fines can be levied.

Cleveland – known as “the Mistake on the Lake” – is not alone. Locally, Arlington County, Alexandria, Frederick and Gaithersburg use the same spy chips, but these jurisdictions are not issuing tickets yet. Alexandria residents didn’t believe the claim that the ultimate goal wasn’t generating fines when the issue first came up in May. Alexandria officials insisted the primary purpose was tracking heretics who don’t embrace the city’s environmentalist agenda.

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2 responses to “Tattletale Trash Cans

  1. This is why it pays to be at City Council meetings and to voice disapproval of the crap they do.

  2. We also have new chipped recycle bins in Charlotte. The city assures us that the data will only be used “to monitor which neighborhoods are recycling less than others.” Then they can “encourage” those neighborhoods to recycle more, whatever that means. At this point, there’s no talk about fines, but I’m not holding my breath. I suppose in a year or two, when City Council discusses their budget, someone will come up with a brilliant idea to increase revenue that involves recycle bins. By the way, a blogger with the John Locke Foundation was kind enough to post information about how to disable the chips – http://charlotte.johnlocke.org/blog/?p=7921

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