Spy Bins

Though he foresaw many ways in which Big Brother might watch us, even George Orwell never imagined that the authorities would keep a keen eye on your bin.

Residents of Croydon, south London, have been told that the microchips being inserted into their new wheely bins may well be adapted so that the council can judge whether they are producing too much rubbish.

If the technology suggests that they are, errant residents may be visited by officials bearing advice on how they might "manage their rubbish more effectively".

In the shorter term the microchips will be used to tell council officers how many of the borough's 100,000 bins the refuse collectors have emptied and how many have been missed.

While the move will be welcomed by environmentalists, it has sparked a row between the Labour-led council and Andrew Pelling, the Conservative who represents the area on the London assembly. He has tagged the microchips the "spy in your bin".

Mr Pelling said: "The Stasi or the KGB could never have dreamed of getting a spying device in every household."

He said the technology might yield information which could be misused.

"If, for example, computer hackers broke in to the system, they could see sudden reductions in waste in specific households, suggesting the owners were on holiday and the house vacant."

But a spokesman for Croydon council said the fears were unjustified. "What we don't want is people putting into their wheely bins tins and glass and paper and textiles, all of which could go into recycling bins. It is the way forward for waste management. We are not the only council thinking about it."

He said the microchips would help the council fend off unwarranted criticism.

"We will have a confident response to customers who claim their bin may not have been emptied," he added.
Yes, I know it's The Grauniad but it's still news! :D


Have to be some double hard B*sard chip to survive all the dogy doo that goes into mine, recycle that you toZZers
Nanny state or what?

you can't even decide what goes in your bin anymore without Mr goodytwoshoes councilor to tell you what to do! :roll:
ugly said:
Have to be some double hard B*sard chip to survive all the dogy doo that goes into mine, recycle that you toZZers
Have you ever seen the way that the wheely-bins are handled by the six-fingered, web-footed m0ngs, sorry, make that "Refuse collection operatives"? If they survive for a week they'll be lucky.
I have some experience of this. The chips in question are RFID chips (radio frequency ID) they are esssentially are a radio readable bar code. So what is happening here is fundamentally the same as purchasing a can of beans by having a checkout person pass it through a barcode scanner. In the case of the beans you pay to take possession and pay to dispose of the contents of the bin.

The adaption to the bin is minimal if indeed it could be considered an adaption at all. If you look underneath the rim of your wheeled bin there is a cylindrical recess. The chip is ensconced in a plastic plug which is inserted into this recess. It is located so that it is beside the antenna on the binlift.

As for Mr Pelling...... :roll:

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