Monday, April 07, 2008

CAUTION: Your New Recycle Bin Contains a Radio Frequency Identification Tag for Tracking

The question of a computer chip being part of the recycling bins recently distributed by St. Louis County was brought up during the County Council’s meeting on April 1. The question was directed to Dr. Gunn of the County who said the recycle bins were identified by a bar code for the purpose of verifying delivery of the bins to county residents.

A check of a recycle bin uncovered a RFID tag and not a bar code. A bar code must be read by a scanning device whereas a RFID tag is read by transmitted radio waves.

The tag, shown above, looks like a paper mail label which is pasted below the hinge on the cart. When peeled off, you can see the chip and circuitry.

What is RFID?

RFID : Radio frequency identification is an automatic remote identification method using radio communications to transfer data between an interrogator or reader and transponder or tag without the requiring a line-of-sight. An RFID system consists of tags and readers that are connected to a host or network. The RFID tag can be attached to an object, which enables remote identification by the reader. Tags can be either active, including battery, or passive, powered by the electromagnetic field produced by the reader. RFID technology enables remote identification of tagged goods, animals or people, without human intervention.

While the RFID technology has great promise, some feel it looks like a Big Brother way of life.


  1. Anonymous6:37 PM

    Well, what do you know... This information seems to be exactly contrary to "Dr." Gunn's response at last week's County Council meeting to the question of "Do these recycle bins contain tracking devices?" She had answered 'no.'

    Either "Dr." Gunn is drastically misinformed, or she told an "untruth," which is a PC word for the formerly-acceptable word "lie." You decide.

  2. Anonymous7:03 PM

    There is so much mis-information coming from County officials you don't know what to believe. While the RFID tag may be nothing, it's still a tracking device. I noted when the bins were being distributed, a worker had a hand scan device in his hands scanning the bins. Interesting.

  3. Anonymous7:59 PM

    Below is the question about the chip in the recycling cart, along with Dr. Gunn's response.
    Like we can believe anything that comes out of the governments mouth.
    It's one lie after another.

    Also, if & when you read the council meeting minutes, public forum section, they don't put everything in them. I was looking for the 3 questions that Charles Barcom asked on Mar. 18th, his questions were not in the minutes. But they should be. As of the April 1st meeting they still weren't answered.
    My question to county & DOH is WHAT ARE YOU HIDDING???????
    Think I'll get an answer?????
    I won't be holding my breath!!!!!!!

    "Mr. Kurt Witzel, 3116 Southridge Pk. Ln., 63129, addressed the County Council and inquired if there is a way that questions posed to the County Council could be answered in a public way, suggesting the website as a mechanism for responses. He also questioned if there was a computer chip contained in the trash bins for tracking purposes.

    Chair Burkett referred to Dr. Gunn in this regard.

    Dr. Gunn responded that there is a barcode located on the trash containers for the Department of Health’s record keeping purposes".