The latest stratagem to be rolled out is the use of RFID tracking chips to monitor whether you are properly recycling your garbage. The plan is that these chips will be implanted in your trash bins in order to monitor the weight of your trash. If there are discrepancies in the amount of your trash and recyclables, uniformed investigators will be sent out to dig through your refuse to determine if you are separating your trash properly. If you are caught violating the ‘green’ statute you will receive a fine or, according to a Fox news story, be forced “into educational programs meant to instill respect for the environment.”
A number of cities (including areas of Idaho, Ohio and Michigan) have decided to utilize this program to track waste in the name of the public interest. But are the motives behind such heavy handed methods a case of ‘green’ idealism with apparent Orwellian tendencies, or simply a way to criminalize yet another minor aspect of life in order to enforce the rules of a ‘nanny state’ and to generate revenue for government (and private) coffers? Considering the oppressive direction our government has been moving in at a steady chugga-chug-chug in recent history, one could say that either – or both – of these ideas may be the end to the means.
The implementation of this mandate of greening-up one’s garbage is doomed to be a frustrating mess before it even begins. There are so many factors which would change the weight of your garbage (vacations, business trips, change of schedule, company, parties, sickness and so on) that collecting information to make up an ‘average’ for a given house hold is somewhat problematic; any one of the legitimate variances could conceivably call out the “Green Police” (which, by the way, was the name for the original Nazi secret police) to rummage through your rubbish. Perhaps the hope is that people who are fined due to such variances will simply hand over the money without putting up a fight like most folks do with vehicular violations.
Imagine how comfortable you would feel as you gaze out your front window only to see an official looking vehicle, which has an official looking person stepping out of it. Said person then begins to dig through your trash, looking for something to fine you over (or send you to a re-education camp…er, class). Home owners (and apartment dwellers) will most certainly feel violated (and greatly embarrassed) to some degree… and, perhaps, even downright angry. I can easily foresee a great many argumentative or physical confrontations between normal upstanding citizens and the self-appointed measurers of muck. Imagine how a senior citizen will react to some stranger digging through their trash.
But, again, is this in the public interest? Thinking abut how much money this is going to cost to implement (tens of millions of dollars), and considering how much spare cash any given municipality has in the middle of our current economic depression, one can easily assume that the rush (quota?) to hand out some sort of fines in order to make up for an expenditure of money that local governments simply don’t have will be a reality in short order. Laying down a bet that a (property) tax increase will be forced into play in order to cover daily operations would be a wager on the favorite and not the long shot.
And the timing for rolling out this program is just wrong, wrong, wrong. As I mentioned before, we are in a depression (or, as the moronic talking heads on TV call it, a ‘double dip recession’), and this idea will obviously put an even greater financial stress on a great many Americans who are having a hard enough time maing ends meet as it is. We are also seeing the biggest political and social upheaval since the 1960’s; as a result, people are angry, frustrated, worried, and stressed enough at the moment. Serving the public interest at the cost of the public itself is, to be frank, about as imperceptive and obtuse a thought as any politico can have (and many in the hallowed halls of power seem to have this thought quite often, it seems).
So, to the progenitors of this plan (who, I am sure, are set to make quite a bit of money off of it), I say: “Thanks, but no.” If the best ideas (like tracking your recyclables and carbon credits issued from a central bank as examples) we can come up with to keep our planet healthy are nothing more than taxes, fines, imprisonment, re-education camps (classes…I meant classes) and even more taxes, then perhaps it is time to stop following the people who are making these plans (and who are planning to make incredible fortunes off of them) and come up with solutions that include actually doing some good for the earth as opposed to simply breaking the financial back of her denizens.
- Are Green Police Cleaning Your Streets? (foxnews.com)
- Broke Cities Are Wasting Money On Trash-Tracking Chips And “Green Police” (businessinsider.com)
- Recycle or Else? Big Brother to Pick Through Trash (abcnews.go.com)