TrashTalk is a new initiative from the SENSEable City Lab and inspired by the NYC Green Initiative that’s studying waste management (image by Nevada Tumbleweed). Specifically, the effort seeks to use technology to understand our removal chain as well our supply chain.

The effort uses hundreds of small, smart, location aware tags to examine how we get rid of waste. In the end, the minute details could provide great amounts of data that could yield a more sustainable future.

As we move forward, understanding waste will be a critical component of green life. A recent CauseCast article noted there are three kinds of waste:

1. Primary packaging is what we handle as consumers.

2. Secondary packaging is the term used for the larger cases or boxes that group quantities of primary packaged goods for distribution.

3. Transit packaging refers to the wooden boards, plastic wrapping, and containers that load, transport, and unload these goods.

Recycling has been a past topic, and one that can seriously impact our carbon footprint. In fact, we already see a savings of 300 million tons of carbon a year in the U.S.

There’s so much focus on producing new sustainable products it seems like we forget how important it is to be mindful about what we already consume. I like it when I see initiatives like this with a robot that helps to intelligently recycle plastics. This seems to be the best of both worlds.

What do you think? How can we best address reusing our current products for long-term sustainability.