Recycling Tracker

1 minute read

We recently published the the minutes from Monday’s ideas Vancouver meetup which included a conversation around tracking where our recycling goes. There seems to be a growing interest in this ideas, so I’ve drafted this article to explain the idea as well as the current plan as of writing this.


It was suggested by someone that recycling in Canada is mostly a sham. This was expanded further by suggesting that corporate media was aware of the issue, and choosing to not report on it in order to maintain relations with their municipalities. This conversation led us to the idea that should be relatively easy to test where our recycling goes.

The idea

Set a geo-location tracker (with cameras?) in the recycling and see where it ends up. What’s the cheapest way to do this?

The plan

  • Setup a place to discuss for those interested. (done – ask to be added to the private/secret recycling chat when you join the server) - Install Mattermost on your device(s) for ease of chat.
  • Determine the cheapest hardware we can use to effectively track our recycling
    • Minimal waste
    • Will also need a SIM card, and plan for the SIM card
    • Potentially other sensors like a camera
  • Figure out how to map the trackers (open street maps?)
  • Publish the steps we took, and our results, for others to follow if the findings are interesting.


This may not be legal, we’re not advising anyone to do this. We will be seeking legal advice before we acticate any of these trackers.

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