Alexandria Considers Using Computers To Track Recycling Bins | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Alexandria Considers Using Computers To Track Recycling Bins

Play associated audio
The city of Alexandria is considering using recycling bins with implanted computer chips to record the bins' location and use.
Michael Pope
The city of Alexandria is considering using recycling bins with implanted computer chips to record the bins' location and use.

By Michael Pope

Tracking people's behavior is nothing new. Local governments have been doing it for years with pencil and paper, recording which addresses use recycling bins and which ones don't. These days, recycling bins come standard with computer chips that track where they belong and how often they're used.

"I'd like to say this is something cutting edge, it's not," says Rich Baier, director of transportation in Alexandria. "It's technology that's been around for fifty years."

Arlington has been using them for the last year, and they're also in use in Montgomery County and parts of Fairfax County. But not in Alexandria, at least, not yet.

And Councilman Frank Fannon says he's hearing from people who would like to keep it that way.

"I think if we just order them without the chips it's going to cause less controversy and we're still going to achieve our recycling goal," says Fannon.

Opponents say they don't want Big Brother looking over their shoulder. But transportation officials say the microchips just make it easier to collect the information they're already collecting on paper. City Council is set to take up the issue next month.

NPR

This Weekend, Experience The Enduring Power Of 'The Millstone'

Margaret Drabble's The Millstone, set in the 1960s, tells the story of a young, unmarried woman who finds herself pregnant. Author Tessa Hadley says this 50-year-old novel is a weekend must-read.
NPR

Italian Cheese Lovers Find Their Bovine Match Through Adopt A Cow

The cheeses of the Italian Alps are prized for their flavor. But the tradition of cheese-making here is dying off. Now remaining farmers are banding together around an unusual adoption program.
WAMU 88.5

Hogan's Pick For Transportation Secretary To Get Second Day Of Scrutiny

Lawmakers in Maryland's executive nominations committee didn't get in all the questions they had for Pete Rahn during his confirmation hearing last week, so they will take another pass Monday.

NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.