RFID Waste Bins – Are You Going to Eat That?

RFID trash cans are being used in Korea to deter people from creating waste from unfinished food.

If your mother ever told you to finish your dinner because there were starving children, she may have had a point. Americans throw away approximately 40 percent of their food. Mostly due to excessive portions, confusing “sell buy” or “best before” dates and regulations on donating to charities, most countries with high standards of living have similar issues. However, Korea aims to change that.

Korea plans to implement an aggressive disposal management system that will charge businesses and residents for the amount of food they waste and throw away. Thus, the less you throw away, the less you spend. Throughout 2012, its estimated that Koreans will create up to 170,000 tons of food daily, meaning $600 million a year or more in disposal of the waste.

SK Telecom, Korea’s largest wireless carrier, has designed food waste bins that will be able to weigh food waste to the nearest gram. How? By using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Bins will be able to calculate the exact weight of the wasted food and money will be automatically debited from the consumer’s public transportation card or linked credit card.

By associating fees with waste, it is hoped that consumers will be more conscious with what they dispose of. While I do think this will help with the amount of space taken up in landfills, I’m wondering how something like this would work in the US. Would people find ways to litter rather than using the RFID waste bins? Or perhaps people would over eat, adding to Americas already morbid obesity problem.

I’m interested to see how the RFID waste bins will work in Korea, and if something similar will be brought to America. Do you think this system would work here? Share your thoughts by commenting below, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.