The Shiba Street community in the ancient Chinese city of Hangzhou are trialing QR Code ‘Intelligent Garbage Disposal’. Every household is issued with QR Coded bags for ‘food waste’ and ‘other’. When they take the bags to a collection point they show the QR Code on the bag to a scanner built into the wall of the disposal center (images below). The system recognizes the QR Code and opens the appropriate door for disposing of that particular kind of waste.
As well as indicating the type of waste, the QR Code on the bag is also unique to each household. Households earn ‘green points’ for correct disposal and can lose points for putting the wrong things in the bags. Accumulated points may be used for discounts on a variety of items available through a participating online supermarket. The QR Codes visible in the images below explain the system and allow online purchases in the supermarket.
Using QR Codes to promote and encourage recycling is not a new idea. Over three years ago QR Codes resolving to recycling videos appeared on the sides of 2,200 New York City Department of Sanitation trucks.