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Guess what I found in my Kennet Council Wheelie Bin this morning?

Alerted by this article:
Germans plant bugs in our wheelie bins | the Daily Mail

Electronic spy 'bugs' have been secretly planted in hundreds of thousands of household wheelie bins.
The gadgets - mostly installed by companies based in Germany - transmit information about the contents of the bins to a central database which then keeps records on the waste disposal habits of each individual address.
Already some 500,000 bins in council districts across England have been fitted with the bugs - with nearly all areas expected to follow suit within the next couple of years.
Until now, the majority of bins have been altered without the knowledge of their owners. In many cases, councils which ordered the installation of the devices did not even debate the proposals publicly.
The official reason for the bugs is to 'improve efficiency' and settle disputes between neighbours over wheelie-bin ownership. But experts say the technology is actually intended to enable councils to impose fines on householders who exceed limits on the amount of non-recyclable waste they put out. New powers for councils to do this are expected to be introduced by the Government shortly.

So I went outside and tipped my bin over to have a look under the lip at the top - and here is what I found...



Details on the bug's abilities are here.

I have checked the information the Kennet Council sent me when they introduced the bins last month with a great fanfare and at no time did they say they were going to introduce an electronic bug onto my premises.
So now what do I do? Do I meekly accept the right of Kennet District Council to secretly bug me or not?

I think the buggers at Kennet Council can expect a follow up....


Oh dear. Art. 8 ECHR seems to be appropriate here. What lawful authority are they using to intrude upon your (and presumably my) private life?

Oh dear. Art. 8 ECHR seems to be appropriate here. What lawful authority are they using to intrude upon your (and presumably my) private life?

Slightly misleading reporting as the "bug" itself doesn't monitor the contents of the bin. Rather it allows the collection vehicle to record the weight of refuse from each household by identifying the bin electronically.

If enough people were to swap these things with tags in other neighbourhoods, that could be interesting

Been suggested before I think, but some random weight stuck to a bin base could allow you to instantly improve your "performance"

They'll probably sue you for removing/stealing their property. Stick it in the microwave for a minute or two, then put it back.



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You guys deserve it. Things were better when you were Catholic, and had real Kings who cared. Not one of them would have stooped to watching your garbage.

Place a strong magnet over the bug, burn the bug, stick a screwdriver through it.

We've got a really off-the-wall way of identifying whose bins are whose round here - I might see if other councils will pay me to implement it. What we do ... ready for this? ... we paint the house number on the side and/or lid of the bin! Who'd have thought eh?

Put your garbage in someone elses trash can!!!

Much though it might offend you, I think you'll find that it is not *your* bin, but the council's bin, and their chip too.

Rather like rail tickets, which aren't truly sold, but licensed.

I'm not sure your council will be pleased that you've mucked up their chip.

Or would you rather have them put a new landfill by your house because people don't recycle enough?

TE replies - I have kept the chip and tried not to damage it, The point is that it was sneaked onto my property, that is my problem with it.

As for landfill, nothing would please me more than being able to get permission to have one here, very profitable business. Unfortunately the five acre one that is on my land was closed many years ago - about 600 BC....

...some random weight stuck to a bin base could allow you to instantly improve your "performance"...

Er, no.

These things are a precursor to CHARGING you by weight for the refuse you put out, so adding a random weight to it would be a seriously bad idea.

Have fun with it. Wouldn't it be a hoot if the counccil members who voted for it started having there bins filled with water the night before pick-up service arrived. Imaging how expensive a bill they'd end up paying for bugging there own cans. Ah, the calamity of it all....

I like the idea of sneaking water or even lead weights into councillors' waste bins.

One question though: what's the range on these things? If it's GPS linked surely it would be more fun to have them inserted into those tracking collars they put on endangered animals. Imagine the confusion at Kennet Gestapo HQ when they start getting messages that their wheelie bins are roaming the Serngeti or swimming the South Atlantic.

Roaming the Serengeti, that's rich! Or, what if the chip accidently became attached to the lifting arm on the truck... each time a bin was hoisted onboard it registered the load to that chip. "Well councilman, it says you generated 2.8 tons of rubbish last month. We expect you to pay your share like everyone else, so would you like to put that on your visa, or will you be making other arrangements?"

surreptitiously leave your garbage in the street.Unscrew the damned thing and throw IT away.Unscrew it, boil it and return it to its rightful place. Get creative.

What a depressing array of shortsighted comments.

Deal with the reality. We do not recycle enough. We throw away too much to landfill that should and could be recycled. People don't think about reducing the amount they throw out - bottles go in bins, compostable stuff goes in bins, recyclable plastics etc go in bins.

If you charge people by the weight of their rubbish, then you make them think about how much they throw out. Just as water meters make you consider whether you really want to fill that bath to the brim or just have a shower instead.

Putting weights into councillors' bins is a childish response to what is an adults' problem. If your council doesn't reduce its landfill demand, it will be surcharged. Guess who then gets to pay the hiked coucil tax? You do. Which means that putting weights into councillors' bins means that *you* will end up paying more, overall.

Sometimes, you have to be able to think in a straight line, instead of just reacting. This is one of those times.

I think all you guys are missing the point. Its trying to get us to recycle more, that can only be a good thing.

I really really object to the " it's okay to snoop and spy in order to be able to charge to save the earth!".

I already pay tax to the government, my local council, the man down the road and his dog for just about every thing. I definitely already pay for the pleasure of having my rubbish taken away. I already recyle, and compost. I agree wholeheartedly that we should recyle more and make it *easier* to recycle more. That doesn't mean that I want to pay more tax!!!!

I used to have a "rag-a-bone" man who came down the street every 2 months and took all that recycleable junk away that is supposedly the stuff we are going to be *taxed* for throwing away - and he made a living from recycling and reusing . Guess what, he's out of business now because the laws passed made it impossible for him to do what he'd always done - oh, yes, by the council that is now going to skim off MORE money after two consecutive years of 12% rises.

I'm speechless. Beyond belief.

Lots of peopel have said why it is a good thing to recycle but no one sais why its is a good idea thet council being sneaky about it ?
If you did dammage it then they would have to porve it was you "innocent untill porven guilty".
Where as what the council have done could be conciderd vouyeristic wich is a crime no one is abouve the law not even the council.

Conspiracy theories aside, I agree that Kennet should have been more forthcoming about this "bug"... however the device may also be used by them in order to make sure whoever they have enlisted to collect the districts waste is actually doing the job i.e. making sure they are actually collecting YOUR rubbish. As an Environmental Consultant I think these devices as a method of charging for waste are a good idea, they might force people to reduce they're consumerism aswell as increase recycling... coz lets face it, the current methods of raising awareness aren't doing the trick for the vast majority of the population.

I think that this is absolutley outrageous. It's just another way for Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and the rest of the right wing "leaders" to earn money.
Recycling is a great thing, and more people should do it but this is not the way to raise awareness. What they should to is to give us seperate bins for each recyclable object.

I say if they bug our bins what else are they bugging?

And as for MP I say F**k of back to Westminster you right wing neocon. I'm sure it's all fine for you. You already earn too much money. I suppose this is great news for you: More dirty money.(no pun intended) When I was young I was an absolute patriot, these days I am not only ashamed to be British. I, like most Britons are fed up of our government.

Putting bugs in our rubbish is sick. There is no other word for it. No wonder so many Britons are emigrating.

Who's spying on you??? It just contains your address! They could have done this before, make a note of the address on a piece of papaer and put it in a database - the chip just makes it easier and cheaper. How many of you have store loyalty cards? Have used an oyster card in London? This technology enables local government to formulate effective strategies for waste disposal in the same way that the private sector has done in their business for years, it creates value for the taxpayer!

By the way - that article is highly misleading in citing Conservative criticism of the scheme. Kennet council has a large Tory majority.

I think we are all missing another side to the story here - what if there less rubbish to throw away in the first place?

I personally think the things I buy (fresh food in particular) is sold in completely unnecessarily packaging. Packaging that I'm never sure whether it can be recycled or not, so it usually ends up in my dustbin - destined for a landfill.

The government needs to make the supermarkets rethink their packaging policies, either force them to reduce the amount of packaging, or make them to mark it more clearly so we know what to do with it.

The local green grocers have all gone because the supermarkets set up their out of town superstores, now there's no competition, they are opening up local shops in towns and villages - which to me, smells like a well orchestrated plan!

If we had less to throw away the council wouldn't need to monitor our waist!

Write to your local MP - even write to the local manager of your local supermarket!

i dunno whether i'm looking at the picture right, but it seems to me that the gadget/bug/gps transmitter, isnt actually IN the bin,its in the bin lid, so i can foresee loads of townie bstards running around removing these things as a joke..

It was a pleasant surprise to see that RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) technology making headline news (Mail on Sunday 27th August 2006)

Bin tagging using RFID has been around for almost 15 years now, it was one of the early applications of the technology followed shortly my Ford using it within an ignition key to disable the vehicle immobiliser. Today the technology is used for a diverse range of applications from electronic ticketing (Oyster card), pigeon racing and increasingly part of the supply chain for product distribution.

I was however surprised about how the media can make front page news from a passive piece of electronics that is providing no more information than the bar code it replaced. 20 years ago a recall barcodes being used on bins for exactly the same purpose, yet no one complained.

Tagging directly benefits the household by:-

• Optimization of route management for the collection vehicles. Saving fuel and time reducing collection costs

• Better Service by providing the Local authority the visibility to check that collection contractors are doing their job by making sure that householder’s bins are emptied regularly.

• Enable better recycling collection. When multiple bins are used the collection vehicle can validate the correct bin to ensure that waste is not mixed.

Some companies provide weighing solutions so that the amount of waste can be measured during the bin empting process. Within commercial collections it is possible to charge for the amount/type of waste. Domestically however pay-by-weight has to be carefully implemented with good (Free) recycling opportunities available to the householder to prevent people from fly tipping; there are even lockable bins available to prevent others putting rubbish in your bin! Therefore for domestic collections charging can remain as it is today with tagging continuing to provide the benefits mentioned. Collecting data and analyzing trends can help decide if pay-by-weight has any benefits.

So how does it all work?. We are all familiar with barcodes on our tins of bake beans as they are scanned at the supermarket with a laser beam.. Barcodes on waste bins has been tried before, but the problem is that a barcode is read optically, which does lend itself well to the dirty bin environment. Electronic tags use very short range radio (Hence the term R.F.I.D. or Radio Frequency Identification) they are common place today, and are ideal to replace bar-codes in harsh dirty environments.

The UK's recycling performance is almost the worst in Europe - we're lazy when it comes to recycling - and something needs to be done to improve things.

I have no doubt that many people find a million reasons why they shouldn't take any action to recycle their waste, but we have to do it.

Our Council (of which I am a Councillor who subscribes to no party!) is trying to force people to pay for bins that have been stolen to be replaced by bins that have been "chipped". So much for the "bins & bugs belong to the Council" argument! I won't subscribe to the general mass hoo-haa in favour of recycling. Look at it closely and you'll discover that much recycling does more harm than good to the environment. And Councils operate a mass of fiddles to make themselves "look good". But the whole caboodle is making very good profits for a select band of people - and for the Government in rocket-high landfill taxes. And - as a fellow writer says above - the Government made sure that the law makes it practically impossible for those true "recyclers" - the old-rag and-bone men. There's a hell of a lot more to this recycling lark than meets the eye! Try this link to my website here -

For my part, I found a whole load of pots of paint and paint brushes in my bugged bin this morning.

Obviously the neighbor's decorator didn't want to use their bin and so dumped in mine.

Under any new charging scheme I would have been silently billed for this waste which had nothing to do with me.

I should take a leaf out of their book and never use my own bin. Perhaps I'll even get cashback from the local council?

hi dear or madam
i am a gentle of 26 yrs of age.i want ot know if you can post some of your wast appliances to me for recicling in zmy conutry.plz give me the details of all wat you will do .thanks

You Brits are so funny!

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