Here’s my latest in the ongoing series about the advancing surveillance state. This just in from The New American, originally reported in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer:

    On August 18, the Cleveland City Council announced that it had approved a $2.5 million budget request for the high-tech carts for 25,000 customers. The recycling carts will contain a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip that will send a signal to the city’s waste management department every time the recycling cart is rolled to the curb. If too much time passes without a signal being received, the city will send out a “trash supervisor” to rifle through the trash in search of recyclable items.

    If the rubbish regulators find that the regular trash cart contains more than 10 percent recyclable material, then a $100 fine could be imposed on the guilty planet haters.

    In response to questions about the program (begun in a limited roll out in 2007), city officials stated that 25,000 RFID-embedded carts would be delivered every year until every one of the city’s residents have one. If the funds are there, moreover, the city will retrofit older carts with the chips so that no one’s garbage-disposal habits escape detection.

    The Plain Dealer piece mentions that the monitoring devices are already in use in other American cities (Alexandria, Virginia, for example) and in England.