p2pnet view Freedom | P2P:- “In recent years, many governments have started to base their trash-pickup fees on volume. If people have to pay for each extra bag of garbage, the thinking goes, they’ll have a strong incentive to produce less of it.”
The paragraph above from Steven D.Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner’s 2009 Super Freakonomics came to mind on reading an item in the Cleveland.com blog passed on by Mike.
“It would be a stretch to say that Big Brother will hang out in Clevelanders’ trash cans, but the city plans to sort through curbside trash to make sure residents are recycling — and fine them $100 if they don’t”, says the story, going on:
“The move is part of a high-tech collection system the city will roll out next year with new trash and recycling carts embedded with radio frequency identification chips and bar codes.”
It continues, “Some cities in England have used the high-tech trash carts for several years to weigh how much garbage people throw out. People are charged extra for exceeding allotted limits.”
But Levitt and Dubner point out charging for garbage collection based on volume also provides an incentive to for people to “stuff their bags ever fuller (a tactic now known by trash officers the world around as the ‘Seattle Stomp’) or just dump their trash in the woods.”
In Germany, they emphasise, “trash-tax avoiders flushed so much uneated food down the toilet that the sewers became infested with rats. A new garbage tax in Ireland generated a spike in backyard trash-burning — which was bad not only for the environment but for public health too: St James’s Hospital in Dublin recorded a near tripling of patients who’d set themselves on fire while burning trash.”
Meanwhile, in Cleveland, on ‘sanitation engineers’ as potential spies, “The chips will allow city workers to monitor how often residents roll carts to the curb for collection”, says Cleveland.com.
“If a chip show a recyclable cart hasn’t been brought to the curb in weeks, a trash supervisor will sort through the trash for recyclables.”
And then …
… and identi.ca
Cleveland.com – High-tech carts will tell on Cleveland residents who don’t recycle … and they face $100 fine, August20, 2010
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