computers that aid recycling

Not recycling computers but using computers to boost recycling. The idea is that you pay people to recycle. Computers are used to track that recycling and calculate the renumeration.

It’s called RecycleBank.

Households get credit for the weight of materials they recycle, which is scanned and recorded through a computer chip embedded in the garbage bins when they are picked up by the sanitation crew. They exchange that credit for coupons at various businesses. Municipal officials save disposal fees. Recycling companies make more money from processing. Retailers gain the feel-good association with a socially beneficial activity.

RecycleBank charges municipalities (or private haulers, depending on the arrangement) $24 a household, and guarantees clients that they will save at least that much in disposal fees as waste is diverted from landfills and incinerators. The company also receives revenue from recycling plants, depending on how much it increases the amount of materials that are processed.

The computer chip is a radio frequency ID, an RFID (apparently, the entrepreneurs found a company that already made bins with embedded RFIDs!).

The “smart waste” tag, a combination computer chip and bar code, enables the bins to be scanned and weighed and the amount linked to a household. The information is channeled from an on-board computer in the garbage trucks into a databank.

The Internet is used so that participating individuals can check their point balance online and obtain their coupons.

Now how about using computers to get people to recycle computers? Love that recursion.

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