Focus topics

QR codes against waste issues

To improve its waste management, China is increasingly relying on Big Data. This goes so far that in some regions, QR codes are printed on garbage bags so that disposal companies and authorities can track who threw away what and when. One pilot zone for this technology is the High-Tech Industrial Development Zone in the eight-million metropolis of Changsha, the capital of southern China’s Hunan province. Here, nearly 7,200 households and a good 20,600 people are already connected to the intelligent waste collection system. It’s a system that only rewards, not punishes: After registering by cell phone, each household receives an account that awards bonus points for properly disposed materials. The points can later be exchanged for goods or cash. Similar systems are already being tested elsewhere in China.

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