Forget everything you thought you knew about litter, waste management, and birds. Sweden is shaking things up by using crows to clean up discarded cigarette ends.
Have you ever looked at a murder of crows and thought – they look like a suitable clean-up crew? Wondered if your local birds could be upstanding citizens keeping the pavements cigarette free?
You can rest easy knowing those fowl-based musings are finally being answered over in Sweden. Crows are now being recruited to collect cigarette butts in Södertälje, a city near Stockholm, in an effort to cut down costs on litter collection and waste management.
The initiative was launched by a startup based in Södertälje called Corvid Cleaning. Employee Christian Günther-Hanssen says that the crows are involved ‘on a voluntary basis’, though how exactly they sign consent forms remains to be seen.
Crows receive food as payment and must deposit butts in a specially-made machine. The New Caledonian crow is the most suited for the role, as scientists estimate they have the same reasoning capabilities as a seven-year-old human.
If you don’t believe that this is real or works, check out a clip below that shows one bird being trained on the job.