Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tracking Trash

Using active self-reporting tags, the authors followed 2,000 objects through Seattle's waste management system. By making the waste "removal chain" more transparent, they help reveal the disposal process of everyday objects, highlighting potential inefficiencies in the current removal system.

This paper is one of the publications from 'Trash Track', a research project led by Carlo Ratti at the MIT SENSEable City Lab. I haven't read the paper. Still, this empirical strategy sounds as one of the most sharp ideas I've heard in the last couple of years. It' a very appealing and straightforward idea and it raises great potential impact for public policy. Here is a short promotional video of the project.

ps. This is the kind of idea that makes you think: "This is so obvious! Why haven't I thought of this before?"