Friday, June 18, 2010

Big Brother - curbside waste edition

Hat tip to xfloggingkylex.

On its surface, this article doesn't really stir the blood or rile the spirit.  I mean, it's simply touting the technology used to keep recycling know, the ones the County REQUIRES us to have...from being stolen.  Right?
After spending millions on new recycling carts, Frederick County is not going to let them disappear.

The county has radio frequency identification tags on each recycling cart. The electronic tags are scanned by trucks each time recycling containers are emptied.

If the Frederick County Office of Recycling is notified that a recycling cart has been stolen or is missing, staff are able to look it up and see where and when it was last used.

In some cases, they have found the cart somewhere else in the county and returned it to the original address, said Dawn Adams, recycling program manager.

"It was nice to see the system working like that," Adams said.
Nice, right? The County is being proactive in assuring that these bins don't get stolen.

But about halfway into the article, the tone changes.
The recycling office also hopes to use the tags to measure recycling participation rates. The tags will show how frequently residents use their carts and will provide targeted information on which areas of the county set out their carts the most and least.
Uh oh. I don't like where this is going.
The only information recorded is whether a container has been set out.

It does have an individual address associated with the cart number.
Ah! Money shot!

If you think for one minute that the RFID data won't be used to persuade coerce people to recycle, you're out of your mind.  Government only knows how to do two things: (1) get bigger, and (2) use force.  Be on the lookout for a County-wide campaign in the very near future "urging" us to be more diligent in recycling.  This will be followed later on by a campaign to assess fines against those who don't recycle.

Because in order to accomplish Objective 1 (get bigger) money is needed.  And our "betters" are finding more and unique ways to bleed us dry every day.