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London officials planting tracking chips in trash bins

Marc Perton
Marc Perton|February 14, 2005 8:30 AM

By now, the image of a dumpster-diving spy digging through someone's trash to get the, er, dirt they need to make their case is something of a cliche. But a new twist may be ready to emerge, in which the trash-digging is automated, and no one's refuse is safe from scrutiny. In an experiment designed to track trash collection, residents of Croydon, South London, are having chips installed in their trash bins. Although the chips are currently set just to keep tabs on collections, residents have already been told that authorities may be able to use them to monitor trash levels and warn those who are deemed to be producing too much that they need to "manage their rubbish more effectively." No wonder Andrew Pelling, who represents the area in the London assembly, is calling the chips the "spy in your bin."

[Via Near Near Future]