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Friday, May 16, 2008

Tagging Recycling Bins with RFID Chips

I have heard it said that RFID tags are too expensive for many applications, but apparently they are cost effective for tagging residential recycling bins. As per my mission statement, I am always on the lookout for examples of Information Communications Technology (ICT) services contributing towards environmental sustainability.

One of the benefits of working in the CSR arena in a large corporation is that colleagues send you stuff. One of them did just that - thanks Jim! Jim's trash company, AAA Recycling and Trash Removal Services, in Fairfax County, Virginia, is trialing a service to encourage recycling.

Here is their description of the service:

"Each resident will receive a green 64-gallon wheeled cart, which is equipped with a barcode and radio frequency identification (RFID) chip mounted on the body …Our trucks will be retrofitted to read the RFID chip and weigh the contents of you cart…The amount you recycle will be recorded and converted into RecycleBank Reward Points. Through the web site or via toll free phone access to customer care, these points can be redeemed at hundreds of national and local retailers… .”

It’s an innovative use of technology. We need to be careful of course. We don’t want people ordering more free catalogs in the mail just so they can put more in the recycling for RecycleBank Reward Points. However, if this helps residents ensure they maximize how much of their trash goes in the recycling, I see it as a great contribution of an ICT technology to environmental sustainability.

I am speaking at Front End Innovation in Boston on Monday. I think I have an additional example for my presentation.

More examples of RFID and other residential and consumer applications of ICT in the future.

1 comment:

  1. This seems like a lot of Orwellian nonsense. Someone (read: lots) is (are) laughing all the way to the bank. Marketing/recycling run amok.