RFID Green Award: The Economic Benefits of Going Green

RFID Green Award Winner 2013

Like people in cities and towns worldwide, the citizens of Grand Rapids, Mich., generate a lot of trash. The garbage is hauled to a county incinerator, and then some of it is transferred to a landfill. “The county incinerator has a maximum amount it can burn per day,” says James Hurt, public services director for the city. “Anything beyond that capacity is transported to a landfill.” The incinerator has controls to reduce emissions, he adds, but trash burned in the incinerator contributes to air pollution.

In 2010, the Midwestern city developed an ambitious three-phase plan that uses RFID to reduce the amount of trash sent to the county incinerator and landfill, while lowering costs and improving operations. The first phase, implemented in 2010, encourages residents to recycle by rewarding them with points redeemable for discounts and free merchandise at local businesses. The second phase, deployed in 2012, manages garbage collection and charges households only for what they throw out, decreasing the amount some residents pay. The final phase, currently in development, will be a system to collect food scraps and yard waste for composting, further allowing residents to reduce their garbage outflow...

Read the entire RFID Journal cover story from May 2013, RFID Green Award: The Economic Benefits of Going Green.