Dutch start-up to teach crows to throw away cigarette butts

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(Source: Crowded Cities) (Source: Crowded Cities)
(Source: Crowded Cities) (Source: Crowded Cities)
(Source: Crowded Cities) (Source: Crowded Cities)

A Dutch start-up company called Crowded Cities has devised a trash receptacle that trains crows to throw away cigarette butts for a reward. 

The receptacle is called the Crowbar. A crow places a cigarette butt into a bin, which then senses the butt and dispenses a peanut. 

Cigarette butts are the most littered item on the planet, with over 4.5 trillion butts thrown away each year. According to Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (no-smoke.org), about 1.69 billion pounds of cigarette butts end up as trash each year. Millions of dollars go into cleaning up this trash pandemic. 

The butts are not biodegradable and take up to 10 years to decompose. They are also highly carcinogenic, which is a flaw in the Crowbar's design.

Birds have very sensitive respiratory systems, which could be compromised by secondhand smoke, especially from still-lit cigarettes. Residue from cigarettes can also end up on bird feathers, and making birds very sick, resulting in feather plucking, coma and cardiac arrest. 

Many consider crows to be absolute geniuses. They memorize human faces, notice patterns and they are known as professional problem solvers. The idea of the Crowbar is very promising, especially for feathered friends who want a treat.

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