The local garbage bin

So, for a while London had bomb-proof garbage bins collecting data on nearby smartphones.1 The reason? To track shopping habits and provide custom ads of course. And though they had to disable the tracking the company insists that the only problem was people not yet being comfortable with “interactive” tech.

Meanwhile, in Sweden, the private garbage bins in some counties are tracking if people separate their waste (as per the local regulation), which led to a minor controversy when the company responsible for collecting the trash sent out a letter to people who hadn’t thrown anything in the compostable section.2

(Interesting tidbit: the company responsible for installing the London garbage bins has since gone defunkt after losing millions3, and seems to have changed all their links scrubbing all surveillance-related content from the site and removing their statement/fauxpology. Where it earlier was an “Official message on renew orb from CEO Kaveh Memari” it’s now an ad. Somewhat ironic.4)


  1. Bloomberg (12 trackers)
  2. Sydsvenskan (in Swedish, 15 trackers)
  3. Express (62 trackers)
  4. Renew London (0 trackers?)