It’s an age-old problem in policy development – once you’ve initiated a change in policy, how do you measure its effect? The B-SERV team has come up with a new way to measure the impact of MSU’s recycling initiatives by monitoring the starting point for all recycled materials on the MSU campus – the office recycling bin. There are thousands of individual bins for recycled materials in MSU’s hallways, classrooms, laboratories and offices. Manually monitoring material build-up in all these bins all the time would be impossible, but using modern radio-frequency technology (RFID Tags), B-SERV has a solution.
Pressure sensors have been developed for all bin types which are attached to the bin wall at a fixed height. When triggered by material build-up in the bin, the sensor broadcasts a radio signal which is received by antenna then transmitted to this website and displayed as a ‘full bin’ in red above. With this technology, the goal of continuously monitoring every collection bin within a building will be feasible yet unobtrusive. From this data, it should be possible to determine normal patterns in recycling activity and to easily quantify the impact of recycling policy changes at the most fundamental level.
The table above lists the bins of the Manly Miles Building. These bins will soon be incorporated into a map display instead of a table list. The project also plans to expand to other campus buildings once Manly Miles is fully working.