Sodertailje, a city in Sweden is turning to an unlikely litter picker in an attempt to tidy up after smokers who cant be bothered to dispose of their cigarette ends properly.
Wild birds do the clean up, there is a bespoke machine which dispenses a little food for every butt end that it is given. in other words they are voluntarily assisting in the cleanup for payment.
According to the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation, more than 1 billion cigarette butts are dropped on Sweden streets each year – approximately 62% of the litter found there. It is estimated that crows could be 75% cheaper than with getting humans to pick them up.
The estimate is that for a person, picking up each cigarette butt costs 80 ore, or at current exchange rate about 6.4p. The equivalent per butt for the crows is 20ore or 1.6p.
For 1 billion cigarettes, that would be about 160 million for 62% of the litter that is created (a pretty good deal.