If you, or your friends, are having trouble recycling, the folks over at BinCam have an answer for you. They’ve created a device — that is actually a specially programmed cell phone — that attaches to the inside lid of your trash can, snaps a picture every time you throw something away and then uploads it to Facebook for all of your friends to see. BinCam compares your trash habits with those of your friends, tells you how much money you might be saving by changing your recycling or food waste habits and then gives you online rewards for good behavior.
The cam was designed by a group of students in the UK who decided it was about time to get young people on board the recycling train. In the UK alone people throw away 5.3 million tons of food and 4.9 million tons of recyclable packaging. With the help of social networking and an army of friends as the police this group of trash conscious students hopes to change those statistics.
When the BinCam takes a photo of your trash it uploads the photo to Facebook and adds a symbol to your recycling chart. It requires little personal input — if you’re making a program for lazy non-recyclers then you better not ask them to lift a finger in order to shame themselves out of their laziness — all the while creating a visual story of your waste stream behavior in hopes that seeing your trash up close and personal (and all of your friends’ trash as well) will help make the behavior changes that we need.