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That's right, in communities across the US, recycling bins are now being outfitted with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips. And if you don't recycle, they'll let you know that they know.Savannah, GA, Howard County, MD, Cranberry Township, PA, and Pleasant Prairie, WI have all gone RFID when it comes to recycling. The technology is provided by Motorola and is the same system used in EZPass cards. The recycling trucks have a mechanism by which they can track which households are recycling and which are not. The municipality can then contact uncooperative households and educate them about the need to recycle. One upside is that these new tracking numbers ensure that all carts (or just about all carts) get picked up on recycling day. If one is missed, the tracking id lets the driver know that one was missed so that it can be picked up on a second round.
San Francisco currently has a fine for households that refuse to recycle. No word yet on how this system plans to target individuals or businesses that refuse to recycle or what to do when individuals that are educated on recycling but still decide, "nah, not for me." Maybe they will just sit them down in a room and make them each hug a tree until they feel like recycling.