Tracking family members, vehicles, and assets makes sense because hey, they’re valuable. But tracking trash? MIT researchers say, yes. Announced on Tuesday, MIT plans to electronically track 3,000 pieces of common garbage over the next three months using GPS cellular technology. The tagged trash, all potentially recyclable, will be monitored from the time it’s thrown out in an attempt to find out exactly where it’s going: in the landfill or in the recycle bin. By showing people that recyclable trash is still ending up in the landfill, MIT researchers hope to promote a lifestyle change nationwide.
“Trash Track aims to make the removal chain more transparent. We hope that the project will promote behavioral change and encourage people to make more sustainable decisions about what they consume and how it affects the world around them.”
The project was inspired by New York City’s Green Initiative goal to divert 100% of the city’s recyclables from landfills to recycle centers. By creating “trash transparency,” MIT researchers hope to change people’s recycling habits by using this high tech GPS tracking technology.