RFID tags in your rubbish bins

Exactly what is a RFID tag and why is it in in your bin? Recent commentary might have you believe it's some sort of spying device.

The truth is a lot less sensational. The only information it contains is the serial number of your bin.

What is an RFID tag, and why does my bin need one?

Radio Frequency ID tags are everywhere these days, you've probably got a few in your wallet.

The one in your bin is a small plastic device that goes just under the lip of the bin. The only information it contains is the serial number of your bin.

The tags are fitted to all green and purple bins delivered as part of the Better Sorted Waste services that have already diverted hundreds of tonnes of organic waste and glass out of the Dooen Landfill.

Why do I need a transmitting device in my bin?

The RFID tag doesn't transmit all the time, it's only activated when it's in close proximity (a few cm) to the receiver on the truck. Most of the time it doesn't do anything as it doesn't have its own power source.

The tags allow our trucks to check in real time whether the bin is at the correct property before it's emptied. If there's no tag, or the bin is somewhere it shouldn't be, it will not be emptied, and will later be removed.

What they can do

Save ratepayers money. Our waste contractors charge us per tonne of waste and recycling they collect. The RFID tags tell us exactly how many bins have been emptied.

We can also check the time that a bin was emptied or if bins are presented for collection multiple times on the same day.

Previously, Council staff would review video footage to see whether a missed bin claim was genuine. This wasted Council resources and ultimately added to the cost of waste services.

What they cannot do

Spy on you or track the contents of your bin.

What happens if you damage or remove the RFID tag?

Our drivers will not be able to verify that the bin belongs at your address and it will not be emptied.

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