A community in Hangzhou has started using quick response codes to help with proper trash disposal.
In the ancient city in China called Hangzhou, a community along Shiba Street has come together to take part in a trial program that uses QR codes to help to guide people through the proper use of its “Intelligent Garbage Disposal” system.
All of the households in the area are provided with bags that have quick response codes to indicate their purpose.
The households receive bags with QR codes that are designated for “food waste” and for “other”. They fill the bags with the appropriate waste materials and then bring them over to the local collection points to dispose of them. It is here that the barcodes become an integral part of the waste disposal system.
A scanner built onto the disposal center’s wall will scan the QR codes on the trash bags.
The device scans the quick response codes and recognizes the type of garbage that it represents. This allows the appropriate compartment door to be opened automatically for disposing of that specific kind of waste. There have been a number of different benefits that have been identified for using this type of system.
The barcode, itself, is actually unique to each household. This means that when the barcode is scanned by the machine, it registers which household is making the disposal. It also helps individuals to earn “green points” for having properly disposed of their trash. Equally, they will lose points for having placed the wrong types of trash into the designated bags.
When the points are allowed to accumulate, it provides the households with discounts on a number of different types of items at a participating supermarket online. This incentive program is meant to make it more appealing for the users of the trash system to actually make an effort to place the right kind of trash into the appropriate bags so that the barcodes can be scanned and they can be rewarded.
Using QR codes for the purpose of promoting recycling and encouraging its use is not entirely new or unique. There have been city programs popping up in locations around the world, including one in New York City, in which the barcodes have been added to the side of 2,200 sanitation trucks.