Snoops In The Trash
September 17, 2010 by Bob Livingston
Government snoops are now checking your garbage and there’s no end the mischief that can lead to.
Local municipalities have begun putting low-power radio frequency identifiers (RFIDs) in garbage cans to monitor their resident’s recycling efforts. If some government bureaucrat decides you aren’t making enough recyclable trash you’ll receive a $100 fine in Cleveland.
Other municipalities are jumping on the “Green” bandwagon. Some are raising garbage collection rates to pay for the new technology that monitors whether you a separating your papers and plastics. Among the cities now monitoring your trash are Charlotte, N.C., Boise, Idaho, Flint, Mich., Dayton, Ohio, and Alexandria, Va. Not all of them have implemented a system of fines, but all say they want to use them “educate” residents on how to recycle.
Of course, governments aren’t interested in whether you are being responsible and recycling your waste… just money and power. The new technology is expensive. In Cleveland the new bins with the microchips cost $2.5 million and it will take 15 years to recoup the costs. In just a few years the technology will be outdated but Cleveland will still be trying to pay for its investment.
There are many problems with this idea. First, to pay for the technology municipalities are hitting residents with more fees they can ill afford and see the fines as a new revenue stream for their strapped budgets. Second, the idea that some under worked bureaucrat can sit in an office and determine whether you are producing enough plastic bottles or aluminum cans to satisfy some pinhead’s model for a certain family size should cause concern.
It may be that your family has sworn off soft drinks to avoid government-approved, diabetes-causing high fructose corn syrup. Or, it could be that you’ve installed a water filtration system in your home and are not using bottled water. Either way, in Cleveland at least, being responsible will cost you a $100 fine… there’s that $2.5 million investment to consider.
And the privacy concerns here are myriad. Government can determine you drink too much or eat too much junk food. It can know whether you’re smoking in your home, and what brand you use. Every item you purchase that has wrapping and a label will be open for inspection. Big Brother can learn everything there is to know about you just by going through your trash.
With government in charge of your healthcare under Obamacare, that knowledge can go a long way toward determining whether you get treatment or not. It could easily decide that smokers, drinkers, someone with a chronic health problem or gun owners don’t deserve life-extending treatment.
Now municipalities have vans that peer through walls and microchips in your garbage bins.
And Winston Smith in 1984 was worried about what the telescreen saw and heard…