RFID trash cans are being used in Korea to deter people from creating waste from unfinished food.
If your mother ever told you to finish your dinner because there were starving children, she may have had a point. Americans throw away approximately 40 percent of their food. Mostly due to excessive portions, confusing “sell buy” or “best before” dates and regulations on donating to charities, most countries with high standards of living have similar issues. However, Korea aims to change that.
Korea plans to implement an aggressive disposal management system that will charge businesses and residents for the amount of food they waste and throw away. Thus, the less you throw away, the less you spend. Throughout 2012, its estimated that Koreans will create up to 170,000 tons of food daily, meaning $600 million a year or more in disposal of the waste.
SK Telecom, Korea’s largest wireless carrier, has designed food waste bins that will be able to weigh food waste to the nearest gram. How? By using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Bins will be able to calculate the exact weight of the wasted food and money will be automatically debited from the consumer’s public transportation card or linked credit card.
By associating fees with waste, it is hoped that consumers will be more conscious with what they dispose of. While I do think this will help with the amount of space taken up in landfills, I’m wondering how something like this would work in the US. Would people find ways to litter rather than using the RFID waste bins? Or perhaps people would over eat, adding to Americas already morbid obesity problem.
I’m interested to see how the RFID waste bins will work in Korea, and if something similar will be brought to America. Do you think this system would work here? Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.
Intermec recently announced a partnership with Sonrai Systems, a provider of waste management solutions that helped to create an RFID-based recycling solution in Charleston County, SC.
By using RFID, Charleston County was able to achieve premium levels of accuracy in its environmental management program, increasing productivity rates by 83%. Charleston County has an ambitious solid waste diversion goal of 40%. In order to achieve this, the county needed to shift from curb-sorted manual bin collection to a wheeled cart program.
Recycle carts are a part of single-stream recycling, meaning paper, plastics, glass, aluminum and steel are recycled together rather than having to be separated into two bins, making recycling more convenient and easier to understand for residents.
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Be honest, do you always recycle everything that can possibly be recycled? If you do, that’s great, but according to treehugger.com, about a quarter of the American population doesn’t recycle at all. Now, Celeveland, Ohio has decided to do something about it. By using RFID tags, city officals will be able to track how often residents recycle, and if they don’t, there will be consequences in the form of a $100 fine!
The city plans to issue recycling bins equipped with RFID tags and recyclables will be collected every two weeks, different from standard trash collection. The RFID tags will transmit the address when the truck comes to the house and information will be sent to a central computer which records the address. If a household fails to put out their recycling bin often, an inspector will check the trash from that household to see if they have been throwing any recyclables away with the standard trash. Should they have thrown out 10% or more recyclables in the regular trash, they will receive a $100 fine!
While some may think this seems steep, it should be noted that recycling is not only good for the environment, but also saves the city money because of landfill costs. Cleveland isn’t alone in their efforts to save money. In Charlotte, N.C., RFID tags are used to find out which neighborhoods recycle most.
In addition to helping the environment and saving money, the program will create awareness about the benefits of recycling and teach people to be more conscious about what they are throwing away.
What do you think about Cleveland’s RFID recycling program? A good cause, or too intrusive? Share your opinion by commenting here, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.
If you’re still not sure exactly what RFID technology is all about, learn more here.