Planet Moron has a post on the city of Alexandria, Virgina using microchips in recycling bins to track usage for "educational purposes."
"If you know who's participating in the programs, you can focus your education and outreach to those who are not participating," said Stacy Herring, Alexandria's recycling coordinator.
Rich Baier, Alexandria's environmental services program director, said the city will use direct mailing campaigns and public presentations to target neighborhoods -- not individuals -- that lag when it comes to recycling.
This reminds me of a story from 2008 reporting California's proposal to include thermostats that can be remotely controlled in all new buildings. I don't think that ever went anywhere.