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Friday, August 20, 2010

Cleveland to Pimp Out Your Recycling Container

Posted By on Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Nice cans, but can they rat you out to the city?
  • Nice cans, but can they rat you out to the city?

You might not want to read on if you’re one of those good government types who can’t stand to read about city officials dumping scarce funding into innovative yet somewhat superfluous sounding programs. Just a warning.

According to the PD, this week Cleveland’s council voted to move forward with a new program that would outfit every house in the city with recycling carts hard-wired to keep track of who’s taking out the trash.

Once the program hits the streets, city employees will monitor via a microchip how often you take down the cart to the curb for pick-up. If your cart stays in one place for a couple of weeks, the city will send someone to sort through your trash; if your containers are loaded up with more than 10 percent recyclable material, the city will slap the resident with a $100 fine.

We probably also should have mentioned you don’t want to read this if you’re a Tea Partying Libertarian, “Big Government stay out of my business!” type.

The council voted to use $2.5 million on the carts for 25,000 homes across the city. A pilot form of the program started in 2007. Eventually the city wants to have all 150,000 of Cleveland’s residences tricked out with the high-tech recycling system.

"We're trying to automate our system to be a more efficient operation," Waste Collection Commissioner Ronnie Owens told the PD. "This chip will assist us in doing our job better."

Now, we’re all for recycling. And we’re all for finding more efficient ways for squeezing fines out of tax payers. But a high-tech recycling system? The article mentions a similar program has been implemented in Alexandria, Va., which kind of makes sense, seeing how the city has the 23rd highest median household income in the country; they rolled out their robot recycling system with what was left over from the Hummer school buses and Dior meter maid uniforms. But can cash-strapped Cleveland really afford to pimp out its trash cans?

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