Chip And Bin

I thought that the introduction of wheelie bins and possible rubbish quotas where I lived was bad news.

Now, it seems, matters are getting worse.


Spyware For Bins

Several news reports that I have read recently seem to suggest that hundreds of thousands of wheelie bins across the country are being fitted with special microchips, used to monitor the amount of waste that us citizens dare to produce.

Big Brother Wants You To Recycle

In what to my mind appears to be yet another form of government surveillance and control, councils claim that bugging wheelie bins is necessary in orderĀ  to gather data about people’s rubbish disposal habits. (Why they need this information is anyone’s guess).

Additionally, the councils see the covert chips as a vital tool in settling disputes over bin ownership.

Cynics, however, see the chips merely as a means of recording waste volumes, which could in the future lead to fines for anyone who dares to exceed limits imposed upon their waste habits.


It would seem that over half a million wheelie bins across the UK have already been equipped with the microchips.

Around the size of a 20 pence piece, I will be taking the one in my bin out if I can verify that it doesn’t constitute a criminal offence.

When a chipped bin is lifted up onto the back of the refuse cart, a sensor on the truck scans the chip, which carries a serial number which identifies which property it belongs to.

This then allows the monitoring equipment to identify the bin’s address as well as the weight of the rubbish that is inside the bin.

Central Database

This data is then downloaded onto a central database held by the local council.

Potentially, I can see how this could be used in the future to then bill residents, according to the amount of waste that has been collected from them, despite the fact that they have already paid for rubbish collection services through their ever-increasing council tax bills.

Am I ranting to myself or does anyone else think something isn’t quite right here?

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. One can only wonder how long it will be until they tax the air we breathe.

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