Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers last month invited Issaquah Middle School students to take a trip through the eyes of their trash. The researchers are running a project where they use tiny digital chips attached to pieces of garbage to understand how waste moves through a city. Ultimately, the project’s goal is to remove the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality that residents have toward trash and inspire more creative and sustainable waste management systems. Through the use of emerging technology, the MIT researchers imagine a world where 100-percent of trash is recycled in some form.
The MIT researchers presented the project to Issaquah Middle School’s Green Team and provided students with trackers to attach to their personal trash items (ranging from food, cell phones, and cereal boxes). Students were then able to follow their garbage’s journey using their tracker’s unique identification number and an Internet map.