While there actually are sanitation cops in a few larger cities, in most places, getting us to divide our household trash into recyclable and non-recycleable containers relies primarily on our own sense of personal responsibility and concern for the planet. This type of utopian approach might work in a commune of aging hippies, but the truth is that many people simply ignore the rules and toss everything together.
Realizing that the current system is broken, the BBC is reporting that some British communities want to test a system where they will swap their ineffective sticks for a high-tech carrot called a smart bin. These digital chip equipped trash cans will weigh you non-recycleable refuse, then wirelessly download the result along with your address to a computer on the garbage truck. The local community then charges you for every pound of trash you throw out, thereby encouraging you to toss less and recycle more. Quite how they plan to stop your neighbors from putting their trash in your can wasn't explained.