Feeds

back to article Cleveland residents get RFID-equipped recycling

Residents in Cleveland, Ohio, will have to ensure their recycling is out on time or face a $100 fine for failing to do their bit. RFID tags will be fitted to the recycling bins provide by the city council, and counted by passing rubbish-collection vans. Any residents whose recycling bin isn't on the curb over a couple of weeks …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

just curious

$2.5m dollars for 25,000 bins, a saving of $4 per tonne, how long will it take to get the 625,000 tonnes to brake even? That's 25Tonnes of recycled goods per household.

It's a genuine question, I have now idea how much recyclible waste can be produced by a single household in a given time period (assuming no brake downs, losses, etc) I manage to fill one black bag a month more or less. The only other thing that gets major use is the bottle thing (I don't use it for any green reason just becouse a blue box holds a few dozen bottles better then a black bag.)

When I had a house mate we'd get a black bag every two or three weeks, and a recyclebag every month or so.

Also guess that a lot of the $2.5 million is going on infrastructure and not just on the bins.

0
0

Sums

Not $4 per tonne, its $56 per tonne - they have to pay $30 to put it in landfill, but can actually sell it for $26 if it is sorted.

If it costs $100/household to set up, then it will pay off once a household has produced a couple of tons of recycling - probably quite a few years. But I guess costs are in the vans, not the bin tags, so marginal cost per household should be much lower. And landfill costs will probably only go up, so it seems plausible that it is commercially viable.

1
0
FAIL

re: just curious

It's not a saving of $4 per tonne, it's a saving of $56 per tonne: A cost of $30 vs a sale price of $26.

0
0

Wrong Math

The cost savings is not $4 but $56 per ton. As it COSTS $30 to dispose of the trash but they get PAID $26 for the recycling. That gets you to 1.78 tons per bin as a break even which seems much more reasonable.

0
0

Spelling Lesson

"break even" "I have no idea", etc.

Next topic: Maths

A cost of $30 per tonne compared to a revenue of $26 per tonne is a difference of $56 per tonne, not $4.

Final subject: Logic

Householders are being monitored that they put the bin out once in a while. If the city wants to spend the time and money to empty three bottles out of a bin that might take a month to actually fill, that's their lookout.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

pay / be paid

I read it as a difference of $56 per tonne as the council have to pay for landfill but can sell the recyclables.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

yeah

I wasn't thinking when I looked at the numbers, you're all correct it's $56 a tonne, making it all look far more sensible.

@Peter H. Coffin

oh look a condescending bell end. Well done.

0
0
Boffin

not nice

because the day you get charged by weight for non-recyclables is the day the street dumping starts

2
0
Thumb Up

seems like

A very good idea. Everyone has something that can be recycled every week and this is a good way to force them. Where I live now we have large bins in the road so you can dump your rubbish anytime the amount of recycling being put out is much less, I'm sure that it is just being dumped.

0
4
Silver badge

Not so...

I occasionally miss a week, especially when it's raining and there's not much to go out. What happens if you're away for a month? Or nine months, as I was when working away from home?

I'm seriously considering investing in one of those gadgets that zaps RFID tags, given the way they're appearing in everything. Passport, clothes, cars, etc.

2
0
Silver badge

Brynley Heaven

>I'm seriously considering investing in one of those gadgets that zaps RFID tags

Consider, then, the story of Brnyley Heaven. Around 7 years ago South Kesteven District Council issued tagged wheelybins, with the intention of charging by weight, under a scheme introduced without debate in Parliament by the Bliar. However their public pronouncements denied this.

Mr Heaven removed the tags and delivered them by post to the chair of said SKDC, who threatened him with penalites for damaging Council Property (yes, the wheelies remain their property) and said that without the tags they would not be collecting his rubbish. Fair enough,says Bryn. I'll take it to the tip meself. And did.

The story dragged on with Mr Heaven becoming a sort of low-level page filler for the tabloids, until in the rather lengthy run up to the last election Brown's lot dumped the pay-to-tip scheme. It's gone rather quiet since then, and Bryn has had some sort of limited service.

The whole story was one of pig-headed refusal to listen, as was the same council's insistence that people who lived in terraced labourer's cottages with no front garden should wheel said wheelies through their house every week instead of retaining the black bag system that their own policies said were available for such cottages. Of course, the bins completely blocked the pavement and most 'went feral' on the first or second time of using.

Such over-arching powers should never be given to officials of small local councils, who are Gauleiter to a man.

3
0

Absent residents

'I occasionally miss a week, especially when it's raining and there's not much to go out. What happens if you're away for a month? Or nine months, as I was when working away from home?'

"Any residents whose recycling bin isn't on the curb over a couple of weeks will get a visit from the rubbish inspector, and face a $100 fine if it turns out they've been discarding recyclable goods."

Presumably, if you're gone for a month (or nine), you aren't producing any waste at all, recyclable or not. When the inspector comes out, and they see no garbage cans out, they simply mark you down as "ok."

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if this doesn't get rolled into the waste truck system - when a house is under question, the next waste pickup notes whether or not they put anything out. If not, you just get automatically ignored for a while. Repeat ad infinitum.

Not to say I support such a system, just that if you read the article, the problem you are worried about is clearly addressed.

'I'm seriously considering investing in one of those gadgets that zaps RFID tags, given the way they're appearing in everything. Passport, clothes, cars, etc.'

That would be a lot of "fun" in this case. Zapping your RFID tag would result in a "no-show" report regardless of your actual actions. You could argue it and ultimately make them replace your bin, and probably repeat this enough that they even eventually put your house on an exception list... but you'll be investing hundreds, if not thousands, of hours into it. Seems like a waste to me.

-d

0
1
Bronze badge

not so, alastair

It's a way to ensure that the twits in City Government who voted this stupidity in get voted out next election.

This year is an election year.

Around here they're still _requesting_ that you use recyclable bins. I wasn't here at the time, but I understand that a few years back the County tried to _mandate_ that everyone use recyclable bins, and there was <ahem> considerable voter resistance </ahem> leading to the premature (in their view, anyway) end of the political careers of several of those responsible for the initiative.

Unfortunately several of those elected to replace the twits had their hands out, and so have landed in Club Fed for a few years. The replacements for the replacements may yet try again.

There aren't that many places in the United States more corrupt than Corruption County, Florida; Cleveland is one.

0
0
Bronze badge

Strange

that most of the best countries at recycling in Europe don't weigh the bags and don't fine people all the time.

1
0
Alert

There is an easy solution for those not keen on the idea

recycle the RFID chip - just pull it off of the side of the bin and include it in the next load to be picked up. If everyone in Cleveland would do that little bit of passive resistance, the govt there *might* get the idea.

6
0
Silver badge
Big Brother

Better yet-

pull it off and glue it to a lamppost.

3
0
Jobs Horns

Fines for the wrong day

Yes, but they've probably got vans equipped with detectors driving about on non-collection days making sure that you haven't put the bin out on the wrong day handing out fines to people who do. So leaving the RFID on the curb side will probably get you an automated fine every week for this instead.

0
0

Loved that!

"still faces privacy concerns from people who consider the weight of their rubbish to be private."

Loved that quote, there was uproar in the UK over that and it was a ridiculous idea and a ridiculous argument that the weight is secret

1
1
Unhappy

It is an invasion of privacy

How are you supposed to sneak out the odd dismembered dead body if they weigh your rubbish!

0
0
FAIL

umm

it's not the weight being secret, it's more therea no way to prove i was me or the oiks down the road stealing it...

0
1
Silver badge

... sneaking out the body

Obvious - use the kitchen/garden waste recycling bin. It is food isn't it?

0
0
Silver badge

@Tigra 07

The point is not that "the weight is secret", but what happens when (as is almost inevitable) you start getting charged for rubbish disposal by weight and someone decides to dump that old monitor or stack of bricks in your bin rather that theirs.

And if you think that's nonsense, I'd point out that for the past couple of months, someone has been sticking a couple of bin-bags of their rubbish outside *my* property. I have no idea why, I have no idea who, but if I was paying by weight you can be damn sure I'd be objecting!

0
0

The point IS that it isn't secret Graham

Let's suppose they tell you every week how much your rubbish weighed, then all of a sudden it increases and your neighbour's rubbish gets lighter.

You could complain, they can check your rubbish bags for evidence (they already do this and use it to catch flytippers aswell)

And then your neighbour gets a big fine or goes to prison for fraud.

Justice right?

Hopefully bin taxes will get abolished anyway because they're stupid

0
0

Lockable bins

Wouldn't it be sensible to have a locking bar that goes over the wheely bin lid which unlocks when the bin is turned upside down for emptying?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

(A lot of) people are lazy or busy

I've often said that one of the problems with recycling is that fundamentally a lot of people are either lazy or have better things to do than to sort their rubbish into a plethora of different containers, waste energy and water washing their rubbish and still end up with a pile of recyclable material that isn't collected and has to be driven to the recycling center anyway. I will admit that when I've not had a chance to make a special trip to do so, and my kitchen is overflowing with cardboard fruit juice containers that aren't eligible to be put into the bin for cardboard, some do start getting thrown out...

Here at the moment, we have I think a total of 5 different 'bins', including a bag for garden rubbish and a new one for slinging waste raw/cooked food in. My front garden is now filling up with bins and it's effort enough to track which combination needs to go out on any given week let alone distinguish between different types of paper (why do newspapers need to go into one bin but envelopes in another?)

Fortunately my local council is changing this to simplify things and so we will have one bin for rubbish and another bin for recycling. Still individual bins/bags for food and garden waste but just one bin for all recycling regardless of what it is. And we will at last be able to put those fruit juice containers in. I intend to do my best to reward the council simplifying it by making more of an effort to recycle than I have until now.

1
0

If my bin is almost empty

then I don't put it out. Apparently here is someone who doesn't think that's a good idea.

But that goes for the no-recycle bin, too.

0
0
Silver badge
WTF?

Another misuse of technology

We had a similar scheme in a new development area I lived in. The RFID's were in modules held in a cavity with sticky pitch-like stuff, akin to road tar.

They can be easily removed with some gentle heating with a gas blowtorch then placed in a short length of plastic pipe and 'planted' in a place nearest the garbage pick-up point.

The Garbage/waste Plod will never be heard from.

Toronto, Canada insists that glass be separated and being good Canadians, Torontonians do exactly that, the only trouble is the city can't recycle the bottles so they are piled up in several small mountains of glass that can be seen from the access road to the airport. Really, really nuts.

3
0
Thumb Down

Place the RFID tag...

...on a pole or other common item that is semi-permanent and within range to be 'counted'

1
0
Paris Hilton

Ho-hum..

If memory serves, I seem to recall that one of the largest 'waste management' companies in the UK regards separated waste as more awkward to deal with in its all new recycling centres because they have to recombine all the separated stuff for the machine to re-sort...

Paris, I've had a bit of a shitty time recently and just need cheering up..

0
0

Ours too I think

We have one bin for paper; another for glass, tins and plastic. I'm pretty sure they all go into the same massive bin.

0
0
WTF?

The original article says

> it really isn't, as England has used a similar program for several years now to

> weigh garbage output of its citizens

am I loosing it or is this complete rubbish ... I heard of councils threatening to do this but I didn't think any of them actually *had*?

0
0
Grenade

A clarification

Cleveland, Ohio _is_ rubbish. They should sweep the whole town into a bin and throw it out (preferably, without recycling anything...).

0
0
Bronze badge

Bad idea

They might dump it into the lake. It's polluted enough as it is.

0
0

Oh Brave New Policy Wonks...

Methinks it stinks, serving to introduce a set of ludicrous arguments, wasting tax money on the RFID infrastructure, and expanding the nanny-state purveyance of government. (I wonder who got sold, first, by the RFID systems contractors, on that one? How on earth could it have otherwise been brought into a city council meeting?)

Case in point, on the ridiculous arguments: Have they ever thought that some people really don't want to recycle? And should they be forced to, then? It's a silly question, but an earnest one, for the circumstances.

As far as the program, itself, goes, what are the actual numbers on their recycling program - not counting any qualitative kneejerk responses - the actual numbers, besides in the paychecks for the recycling center workers? (and not counting the warm fuzzy "environmental goodwill" effect, which is so tough to put a dollar value to, as Al Gore no doubt would know)

It's silly.

0
0

cost differential

I may have misunderstood, but sell for $26 or pay $30 to dispose gives a profit of $56 per tonne, rather than $4

and when the rfid reader or chip fail you get fined??

can they really read from a passing bin lorry?

0
0

Not an automatic fine

"and when the rfid reader or chip fail you get fined??"

No, actually - re-read the story.

When the reader or chip fails, you aren't automatically fined. In fact, nothing happens if it fails once. If it fails several times in a row, a professional dumpster diver comes and plays in your trash to make certain you're doing it right. If you're not, then you get fined (presumably, minor mistakes from otherwise earnest recyclers will be corrected with some condescending advice and a pamphlet).

As for reading the chips from a passing truck, they don't have to do so. If a bin is out, the truck will be dumping it. When it is being dumped, they will read it. And since most areas are going to the recycling bins with lids like garbage bins, the garbage (recycling?) men will dump empty recycling bins even if empty - the only way to tell is to grab the bin.

-d

0
1
Grenade

RFID Waltz

If my local authority starts to "chip" the rubbish/trash bins I'll be busy organising people to run RFID waltz's late at night so the bins will progressively migrate around the locality.

1
0
Silver badge

What a mess

So they come round and hassle anyone who goes on a fortnight's holiday^W^W two week's vacation?

Re zapping the chips - don't zap your own, zap various other ones nearby, then watch the fun?

1
0
Silver badge
Boffin

Fuzzy Math?

Most people in the Cleveland area live *outside* of Cleveland. Hence the creation of RITA (Regional Income Tax) for Cuyahoga County where Cleveland is... [Just a boot note 'cause I'm a skinny little boy from Cleveland Ohio come to chase your women and drink your beer!]

If the RFID tag is missing from the bin, they would know about it and probably fine the household to pay for the replacement of the tags... so not a good idea.

The point is that you want to recycle because it does eventually save you money.

As to everyone's math... the payoff is a bit faster...

Assuming that the average household produces X tonnes of garbage a year.

If people started to recycle... say y% of their garbage is recycled.. then its $26.00 * (y%)*X in revenue against $30.00*(1-y%)*X in terms of cost.

So if you can recycle ~54% of your garbage, you will actually start to save the taxpayers money on an annual basis. Of course this only talks about the annual cost of waste removal and not the sunk cost of the technology.

The point is that once you get past 54% in recycled waste, you can start to pay off your sunk costs and your annual maintenance costs so eventually you'll make money. Not all of your waste will be recyclable so your calculations on ROI and tROI will vary.

The other issue is that we're assuming that the cost of waste removal is a constant. Once the landfills start to fill up, it gets more expensive to create new ones or to move the trash further away from the city.

0
0

It's not out because I'm not in

I have more than one residence. Life is complicated, ya'know?

If I'm gone for a month or more, and they fine me, well that is only going to strengthen the "this is a terrible idea" argument. How are they going to implement exceptions? How are they going to control exceptions? Am I going to have to check in and check out at some municipal office?

Another idea that sounds wonderful to the politicians and bureaucrats, until they find out - Life is complicated, ya'know?

0
0

Well I assume

that when the bloke comes to see if you're dumping your recycling in the general trash, he'll see you aren't producing *anything* and so not fine you.

Did you know if you READ the article, the answers are in there?

0
0

Rubbish...

My city has a list a mile long of items you Can't put in the recycle bin, including plastic egg cartons specifically intended for recycling! Maybe they should put a scanning device in the bin with a 'pass' / 'fail' indicator to help us out. There are laws here compelling proper use, but I've yet to hear of the garbage police actually inspecting anyone's trash. Cleveland's idea is idiotic for reasons well enumerated above. I'm going away for a few weeks so my garbage will be produced elsewhere.

0
0
Unhappy

Fine If They Reduce Taxes

If you want to recycle then by all means do so (and I do), but this is outrageous that they want to force their will upon people. The citizen's taxes are paying for those landfills, else they're billed directly so they ought to be keeping a little more money in their pockets, NOT merely a source of more funds the city can flush down the toilet.

It's getting sad when the very people incapable of managing a budget start deciding the solution is to take even more from the people to mismanage. They create more and more infrastructure that the majority don't want, then all that infrastructure requires continual funds to maintain.

I suppose it's only human nature, give someone power and the next thing you know they'll use it against you - "for your own good".

0
0
Bronze badge

Ah, yes

Cleveland, Ohio. The Mistake By The Lake. The Place Where The River Burned... Twice. (And, no, I'm not making this up. The river actually caught fire. Multiple times. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuyahoga_River>)

Memo to anyone around here who might have similar ideas... I'd identify the RFID signal and either pry the transponder loose from the bin or make my own transponder and in either case attach it to a fence post outside. Instant 100% coverage.

If I can't be arsed to do the above, then on recyclables day the bin goes out, full, empty, whatever.

Nah. Playing with the RFID tags is more fun and I'd only have to do it once.

0
0
Silver badge
Alien

@James

Yes the river burned. Back in the 60's.

Moving forward, the Cuyahoga is probably cleaner than the Chicago River.

Mistake on the Lake? Sure, sure. It keeps the tourists out so most people can enjoy themselves.

;-)

Of course if you really want to make fun of Cleveland... mention Dennis the Menace aka boy mayor aka Dennis Kucinich.

0
0
Bronze badge

Don't get me started about Chicago

You obviously haven't seen the Chicago River on March 17h of any given year. Or on Election Night, after the trucks carrying ballot boxes go over the bridges. (It seems that the only parts of Cook County which reliably vote Republican are on the wrong side of the river, and strange accidents have been known to occur with ballot boxes. This is commonly referred to as 'getting out the river vote'. Apparently Cook County has increased diversity in the Electoral Office, and has hired Piscine Americans to help count the ballots.)

0
0
Silver badge
Flame

Rubbish

The whole idea that we throw containers out is an idea that emerged in the 50s and 60s and it beggars belief that some people at that time thought that disposable packaging was a great idea.

Up until then, people reused their containers (remember milk bottles?).

It's kinda like this brand new idea of reusable shopping bags. Before supermarkets started sticking everything into carrier bags, everyone used to bring their own. We're all suffering from the mad ideas of some fuckwits from 40 years ago.

I still find it amazing though that we get stuff packaged in non-recyclable materials. Type 6 and 7 plastics, expanded polystyrene and composite materials. There's no excuse.

Why oh why is this not illegal?

2
0
WTF?

Economic incentives

The local garbage company where I live (near Portland, OR, allegedly one of the centers of militant forced greenness) has a much simpler incentive system: they charge based on the size of garbage can (with a surcharge if it's clear you're trying to do too much with a small one), but will take away any amount of recycling for free. No weighing or bin-policing needed.

0
0

Weight doesn't work

For the simple reason they were talking about per household, the same goes for per bag. You need to at least try per occupant.

The big problem of course is they give you half a dozen boxes/bins and then a list of things you can and can't recycle as long as your arm. Bread that has been buttered, packaging that has been used to hold food, certain types of plastic (inevitably the ones you end up with loads of), cooked vegetables, and various other things aren't permitted in my region alone.

If I could recycle any amount of what I throw out I'd damn well do it, it's only socially responsible. Of course it just isn't practical, between the complexity and my visual impairment meaning it is even harder to tell what is and isn't recyclable in many cases.

0
0
Silver badge
Stop

Cause and effect?

With a really simple solution.

Just remove as much packaging as possible, and leave it in the supermarket trolley...

Or, if you're feeling really arsey, just take all your rubbish back to its point of origin.

If enough people did it, I'm sure "they" would take notice of their rising waste disposal costs.

Just a thought.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.