Watching Trash

Tracking tags have been implanted in garbage in New York and Seattle to monitor where garbage goes and how municipal waste management systems can improve.
August 8, 2009, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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It's all part of a project by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's SENSEable City Lab, led by Carlo Ratti.

"By plotting the paths of discarded coke bottles, cardboard boxes, and televisions, Ratti and his team want to find ways to improve the system, reducing carbon emissions, relieving traffic congestion in cities (fewer garbage trucks), and increasing the amount of garbage that is diverted from landfills into recycling and composting facilities. 'We want to see if we can develop situations or scenarios of minimum waste, meaning we know where every resource is, where every object is, and we can actually utilize them in an optimal way,' says Assaf Biderman, associate director of the project. 'And the industry is very interested in the type of information we're collecting,' he adds."

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Published on Friday, August 7, 2009 in Seed
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