'Bin brother' fear over wheelie tag
Sunday August 27, 2006 3:18 AM
Half a million household wheelie bins have been secretly tagged with hidden electronic "bugs", it has been reported.
The tiny devices identify each bin so that records can be kept on the waste disposal habits of its owners, and up to 500,000 bins in council districts across England are thought to have already been fitted.
The move has raised fears that some local authorities may be planning to charge residents for the weight of rubbish they collect.
The devices carry a unique serial number which can be scanned when the bin is tipped into a refuse lorry.
Some lorries carry weighing equipment which collect how much rubbish is collected and link the information to the appropriate bin.
Areas where the devices are said to be in use include Crewe, Nantwich, Peterborough, South Norfolk, Woking and Devizes in Wiltshire.
German firm Deister, which has a base in Spalding, Lincolnshire, is one of several firms selling the technology.
A similar controversy also emerged in Ryde, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, earlier this week.
Residents accused the local authority of acting like "Big Brother" after workers suddenly began fitting the devices to the rims of an estimated 90,000 bins.
The devices use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology which have also been used to identify objects as diverse as animals, vehicles and expensive goods.
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