Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tags

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are small electronic devices which use radio signals to send messages and can have a variety of uses including vehicle tracking, pet and livestock tracking, managing inventory and equipment tracking. The Council is installing these tags to monitor collections from communal bins.

The purpose of installing the RFID tags on bins is to monitor the level of collections from these bins and identify improvements that could be made to encourage an increase in recycling. There are approximately 40,000 households serviced by around 10,000 communal bins for general waste and mixed recycling in the city, with an additional 5,000 trade bins also in place. Current data shows that the recycling rate for communal bins remains much lower than it is for individual, wheeled bins. 

In 2022, the Council was awarded funding by Zero Waste Scotland to fit tags to bins. Initially we will fit 100 tags on bins to test this technology for its suitability for use in reporting data to our waste and recycling service. The tags will provide information on when communal bins are emptied, their location and bin type (recycling or general waste) and will not monitor the types of rubbish put in bins, or how full they are. If successful, the trial will be followed by an additional 16,000 tags being installed in early 2023. 

No personal information will be recorded. The RFID tags will only be used to report data on how frequently communal bins are collected, and of which type. Tags are activated when the bin is emptied.

The project is being funded by Zero Waste Scotland following a successful application for funding which will cover the costs for purchasing and installing the tags. There will be a relatively small cost to the Council to cover maintenance of the tags and system hosting.

Tags are being applied to communal bins across the city and are not limited to a specific area.

The tags are small, plastic devices which are either circular or triangular in shape and will be attached to the side of bins.

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