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Idéia para aplaudir. De pé.

The current system of curbside recycling hasn’t kept pace with today’s stream of high-tech garbage, which increasingly includes hardware that could be salvaged (like cellphone parts) and products that contain toxic materials that could be more safely disposed of (like some fluorescent light bulbs).

But now, a prototype technology called Smart Trash aims to better manage all forms of waste that carry product ID tags. “The whole information system falls off when things are disposed,” says Valerie Thomas, a professor of industrial engineering and public policy at Georgia Tech. She is developing the Smart Trash system to fix that.

It begins with a garbage can outfitted with a scanner. When an unwanted item is dropped in, its UPC barcode or radio-frequency identification tag is read — as in the checkout line on the day it was purchased.

The scanner tracks important information like the make, model and component parts and, when Smart Trash is fully operational, will send that data to a waste company’s Web site or a site like eBay to determine how much the item is worth to recyclers or in the secondhand market. That data can in turn be downloaded by the garbage collector at pickup, or relayed via a WiFi connection to the waste company, which will distribute the items accordingly — to e-waste handlers, recyclers and secondhand dealers. The user would get money for his trash in the form of rebates or sales proceeds.

If implemented, Smart Trash’s combination of a waste-tracking infrastructure and cash-for-trash incentives could help us rethink the garbage dump as a sorting facility like the post office — rather than a final resting place.

Porra, que do caralho! Esse lance de se conectar com o e-bay para saber quanto vale o material é muito foda.

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