In Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, there is a new and innovative recycling bin that not only diverts plastic bottles from the landfill but also feeds stray dogs. The Turkish company, Pugedon, created this street recycling bin/kibble dispenser to encourage citizens to recycle and take care of the city’s street dogs.
The recycling bin/kibble dispenser has containers for water and dog food. Passersby can pour water in the containers and put in recyclable bottles to dispense kibble for the stray dogs. With each bottle recycled, a fixed amount of dog food comes out of the machine. The profits from the recycled bottles are used to cover the cost of dog food.
Turkey in particular has struggled to find “solutions” to their stray dog situation. In 1910, Istanbul sent their stray dogs to an island where they were left to starve and die. Then in 2012, the government began to draft a law that would send the Istanbul’s dogs to the city outskirts or “wildlife parks”. Animal rights activists are outraged because the government has yet to resolve the core of the problem: illegal pet shops and animal smuggling.
Until the government begins to address illegal pet shops and animal smuggling, stray cats and dogs will remain part of Istanbul’s city life. In the meantime, stray dogs are lucky to have Pugedon on their side to encourage people to help feed the city’s hungry animals.