Main | Monday, March 08, 2010

Pay As You Throw

Millions of microchips have been installed in British home waste receptacles in a program to charge customers based on how much garbage they create.
A pro-privacy group warns in a new report that more than 2.6 million of the chips have been surreptitiously installed in what is seen as a first step toward charging those who toss too much. Proponents say it's a bid to push recycling. Opponents say it stinks. "They should mind their own business," said Terry Williams, an unemployed Londoner who thinks the government is meddling. "I believe they have gone too far. It's not like we are throwing away anything that is illegal." The advocacy group Big Brother Watch found through a series of Freedom of Information requests that many local governments, called councils in Britain, are installing the microchips in trash cans distributed to households, but in most cases have not yet activated them – in part because officials know the move would be unpopular.
Critics say that the program, if activated, will only encourage illegal dumping. I can imagine more than a few cases of using your neighbor's bin as well.

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