The amount of trash produced by humanity presents a serious problem for the entire planet. We have methods to separate waste and treat it according to its type, deciding whether it should be recycled, reused, or not. However, not all of us think about such basic things as making sure trash goes in the trash can. Leaving litter in public places has a negative impact on the environment, public health, and clogs drains.
It is true that cities around the world have implemented a variety of methods to ensure that trash is collected for treatment and put into the bin. However, no city can boast that it has collected all the waste produced within its jurisdiction. A new approach may be needed. Sweden is taking such steps by training crows to pick up cigarette ends from the street and toss them in trash bins.
Crows were seen in a video from Corvid Cleaning dropping training sticks into a bin after picking them up. Crows are rewarded with peanuts when they successfully pick up and dump cigarette butts in order to encourage them to clean up more. What happens if they dump something else in the bin? Like a leaf or some such? In such cases, peanuts are not distributed as a reward.
It will distinguish litter from other items such as stones and leaves and only reward litter. The birds can take part as much or as little as they wish. The only human involvement is to empty the bin and replenish the food,’ according to Corvid Cleaning’s website. According to their website, Corvid Cleaning is preparing a pilot project where the birds would pick up ‘real litter’ instead of litter placed specifically for them.