Is a Smart Trash Can Smart for You?

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Smart trash can to better your health and assist with making a grocery shopping list

The @GeniCan is a smart scanner that reads your trash via a sensor hooked onto your trash can that reads barcodes and prompts you to speak the names of things without them.

Why? The main benefit is helping you make a shopping list and even order the items on it directly from Amazon—like the Amazon Dash.

I’m generally pretty bullish about new tech, but this is one item I don’t plan to use any time soon. Here’s why:

1.) Hassle

I don’t want to have to talk to my trash can when I throw stuff out. Me: “Never mind. Just a paper towel to clean up after the cat.” I’ll pass. Also, taking out the trash is already a drag--why add to it by fiddling with a sensor and replacing its batteries?

2.) Hurts Small Business, Farms & the Environment

Many of the foods I want my family to eat come from farmers markets or small businesses, and aren’t available via Amazon. Even if they were, I’d rather support a local farm or business and avoid the environmental impact of shipping.

3.) Privacy

I don’t want Amazon (or any other company) to track everything in my family’s trash. It’s not just food—it’s potentially information about other things we buy, our mail, our medications, and other details of our lives.

I’m willing to share personal information when there is a clear benefit (as is the case for GPS), but this feels like giving up a lot of data for negligible benefit (my family already uses a digital shopping list).

GeniCan's partnership with Amazon is extra-interesting since Amazon is increasingly moving into health and healthcare. Imagine: “We noticed you've been drinking a lot of soda. Would you like us to order you some bottled water?"

Not for me. How about you? Would you buy this kind of scanner for $149? Why?

The image pictured is modified from one created by GeniCan.