There are tonnes of good ideas that can change the world. Regular readers of RESET will already know of a few. Every month, we will choose one idea that stands out thanks to its impact and innovative approach. Our favourite project in February: GPS-equipped vultures keep an eye on illegal littering in Peru’s capital, Lima.
Around 20 percent of rubbish in the capital Lima is not disposed of properly. With 2.1 million tonnes of waste per year, this means that 420,000 tonnes of garbage ends up on the roadside, in the woods, or along rivers. This represents not only an environmental issue, but is also a significant health hazard. How do you catch illegal littering? Go to the source. And that’s exactly what Peru’s environmental ministry is aiming to do as part of the project Gallinazo Avisa,, kitting out vultures with GPS equipment and cameras so that they can spot illegal waste disposal from the air.
Landfills are a welcome and easily accessible source of food for vultures, something that led to the Ministry of Environment in Peru to the idea of attaching cameras and GPS transmitters to the birds and mapping their flight path. The goal? Locate illegal littering. Users can even view live on a map where exactly the vultures are circling, find out the names of the birds and track their movements from the previous 30 days.
The goal is not just locating rubbish and disposing of it properly but also to build awareness among people about the topic of waste management. To this end, the vultures are part of a broader media campaign that positions them as heroes in the fight against littering with names like Captain Fénix or Captain Aella. Each is introduced on the website and in campaign videos, making it clear how important their work is in ensuring that garbage fiends’ number is up. So far, the campaign seems to be right on the money, with around 25,000 fans on Facebook alone.
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