Tracking Recycling with RFID

I just read an interesting article from RFID Journal about counties using RFID to track recycling in their communities.  Howard County in Maryland has been on a pilot program since September 2007 and has plans to fully deploy the system after the 1st of September.  Households receive recycling carts that are tagged with EPC Gen 2 RFID tags and RFID interrogators are installed in the trucks.  When a truck picks up a recycling container the tag is scanned by the interrogator and data about the household is automatically uploaded.  This allows counties to track which households are taking part in recycling and which aren’t.  Howard County plans on using the RFID-generated data to reach out to households that aren’t recycling.  They plan on sending postcards to these households to help educate them about the importance of doing their part.  I think this is a great way to increase recycling efforts throughout a community.  In fact, the counties that have this technology in place are showing an increase in recycling.  So maybe it won’t be long before you receive a new RFID tagged recycle bin.