Istanbul Has a Vending Machine for Stray Dogs When Humans Recycle

Posted by Stacey Venzel
All images via Earth Porm

Street dogs in Turkey are rewarded with free food when humans properly dispose of plastic bottles.

Over 150,000 stray dogs roam Istanbul's streets. Now, those dogs are filling up their bellies with a company's Good Samaritan recycling initiative.

Pugedon Smart Recycling Boxes encourage passersby to toss their bottles inside. When the waste is recycled, the machine spits out dog kibble for any wandering canines to devour. The recycled material covers the cost of the food in the dispensary.

Pugedon even went a step further to ensure that Istanbul's street dogs are neither hungry nor thirsty. The machine also contains a low-lying water bowl where bottles can be emptied before being deposited.

Not surprisingly, dogs grasped the concept quickly, forming lines at the vending machine.

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While not all residents are fans of the street dogs, many see them as lovable neighborhood sentries. So lovable that a government proposal to round up the pooches and nomadic felines and place them in a designated park was met with great resistance. City officials say this action would only benefit the animals, but apparently enough residents disagree, thinking the government has other plans in mind.

Currently, the only regulated means of mitigating the stray population is a spay-neuter round up. The animals are tagged once fixed, then placed back on the streets.

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Stray pets have become a cultural icon for the nation, even leading to a documentary about them. The film "Kedi" is all about the country's reverence for kedis--the Turkish word for "cat." Many of Istanbul's strays become so well-known that they are named. As regulars at cafes, they receive restaurant leftovers or scraps from customers.

Now, all of Istanbul's homeless canines can chow down free of charge. The dog vending machine entices people to be stewards of the earth in more than one easy way, protecting both the landscape and the animals.

What do you think of this recycling idea? Tell us in the comments below.

All photos via Earth Porm.

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Istanbul Has a Vending Machine for Stray Dogs When Humans Recycle