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To raise awareness of Peru’s growing waste problem, a multi-agency collaboration is attaching sensors and cameras to vultures, recording their waste-tracking habits.

To raise awareness of Peru’s growing waste problem, a multi-agency collaboration is attaching sensors and cameras to vultures, recording their waste-tracking habits.

To raise awareness of Peru’s growing waste problem, a multi-agency collaboration is attaching sensors and cameras to vultures, recording their waste-tracking habits.

A new program in Lima, Peru, is utilizing vultures’ reputation as “nature’s garbage disposers” to raise awareness for the city’s massive waste problem and promote the importance of recycling. With a population of 8.4 million people, Lima is estimated to take less than half of its garbage to official dump sites as large amounts of trash pile on the streets.

The U.S. Agency for International Development and Peru’s Ministry of Environment introduced Gallinazo Avisa, Vultures Warn, a program in which officials outfitted 10 los gallinazos (vultures) with lightweight GPS trackers and GoPro cameras. The vultures then provide intelligence on the city’s most heavily polluted areas. Humans also can help in the project by reporting trash piles via the website.

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