Feeds

UK gov to moot electronic tagging of dustbins

At least they don't whine about privacy and freedom...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Not content with tagging people, the UK government is proposing to move swiftly on to trash. According to a story in this week's Sunday Times, a "clean neighbourhoods" bill to be introduced this autumn will include provision for local councils to charge householders by how green their household refuse is, and to charge them for unsorted waste.

And how do you finger the recalcitrant citizenry who persist in just slinging it all in the bin rather than diligently sorting it? Well, says the Times, you put an electronic tag on the bin, and a reader on the dustcart. The dustcart itself is a smart one, capable of figuring out what kind of junk you've been junking (glass, tins, AOL CDs, nuclear waste and so on), so it can swiftly tally up the tab and the bill can be sent to the perp.

Obviously you end up paying a more realistic cost for the disposal of the shedloads of crap you generate, and this realistic cost will no doubt include the vast expense of operative-proof hi-tech equipment in the dustcart.

It's not entirely clear to us that this whizzo technology will actually see the light of day in the proposed bill, but the paper quotes leaked cabinet documents as saying there will be a move to allow councils to charge for the pickup of unsorted waste, and we can therefore see a certain logic to the associated introduction of systems to detect and to measure this waste. It will however be left to councils to decide whether to begin to charge for unsorted waste, although recent legislation already requires them to move towards sorting waste. Under the Household Waste Recycling Act 2003 English authorities need to be collecting at least two types of recyclable waste by the end of 2010, and a report on progress is due in October.

But exquisitely, the proposals for incentive-based sorting, possibly including tagging, themselves appear to have been recycled. As indeed is, er, a quantity of the Sunday Times story. The Environment Agency has been pushing for a greater commitment to recycling for some time now, and the tagging plans first saw the light of day on the publication of a Downing Street strategy unit report, Waste Not Want Not, in 2002. At the time the Sunday Times said: "At the heart of the proposals is the notion that householders are paying far too little for disposal and that if people are made to pay more then they will consider recycling instead. Current charges, included in the council tax, average less than £1 a week per household."

While two years later it says: "...local authorities argue that householders are paying far too little for rubbish disposal. If people are made to pay more for such a service then they will consider recycling. Current charges, included in the council tax, average less than £1 per household."

We applaud the paper's commitment to recycling, and in the same spirit propose to pay for next week's edition with the same £1.40 we spent on it this week. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.