That’s the debate raging in Manchester, England’s Bury Council, over a controversial plan to install the high-tech tablets in garbage trucks.
The Greater Manchester authority intends to use the iPads to monitor households who aren’t properly recycling, as well as allowing the garbagemen themselves to report vehicle breakdowns and use GPS functionality to keep from getting lost. They justify the expenditure as a way to reduce paperwork and improve Bury’s bottom-of -the-barrel recycling rate.
The problem is that the GMA is already cash-strapped: they reportedly need to cut £18million and as many as 400 jobs from their operating expenses. So when word got out that 22 iPads — at a cost of around £9,000 — had been ordered, the arrows started flying. The TaxPayers’ Alliance branded the iPads “expensive gimmicks,” while David Nuttall, Tory MP for Bury North, claimed “There are far cheaper ways of recording names and addresses, such as the old-fashioned pen and paper.” The cost of each iPad does not include additional expenses, including mounting the tablets in each truck and training the dustmen how to use them.
[Via the Daily Mail]