Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Answer To Long Island's Growing Garbage Problem?

Vultures Circling Town Hall -- Not Necessarily A Bad Thing!

As garbage woes -- from overflowing landfills to the limitations and possible loss of resource recovery plants -- continue to mount on Long Island, officialdom considers alternatives to dumping, burning, barging, and carting.

One town's misery could be our town's saving grace. [It wouldn't be the first time that vultures gathered in the skies above the hallowed halls of government.] Maybe it would be okay if we feed the birds, lest we all be inclined to "eat garbage!"

Could there be a "Vulture Sanitary District No. 13" or a "Vulture Habitation District Tax" on the horizon?

Read on. . .

Vultures lay siege to Amazon jungle city

LIMA, Peru (Reuters) - Hundreds of vultures have swarmed the airport of the biggest city in Peru's Amazon jungle, putting planes at risk and threatening to cut off the city of more than 400,000 people from the rest of the country.

The birds already have forced the airport in Iquitos -- a popular tourist destination that can only be reached from the capital Lima by air – to shut down eight hours a day, said Aurelio Crovetto, head of Peru's state-run airport authority.

"One of these birds only has to bump into a plane and the effect could Be devastating," he said. "If one gets into an engine, it will destroy it, the motor will stop and the plane will come down."

Set on the banks of an Amazon River tributary, Iquitos is one of theworld's largest cities inaccessible by road. The vultures became a problem when migration swelled Iquitos' Population and extra trash pushed the edge of a garbage dump, which attracts the birds, closer to the airport.

The vultures have collided with planes at least 19 times since 2002, according to the airport authority. Photographs show engine parts and wing flaps mangled by avian encounters. The airport authority blames local officials, whom they say have ignored nearly a decade of complaints about the dump. But the city's mayor says airport operators should be better equipped to scare away the vultures. Peru's commerce and tourism minister has referred to the situation as"surreal" and promised action.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.
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Coming up: Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray rolls out Town's Adopt-A-Vulture ~ Summer of Garbage program.

Said the Supervisor, excitedly, "Last year's 'Summer of Love' Pet Adoption Program was a remarkable success, with 122 dogs and 154 cats adopted, ... We hope that by extending this program to the adoption of vultures and waiving adoption fees, Hempstead Town will be able to continue helping residents experience the joy of pet ownership and giving these animals good homes with loving owners, while at the same time reducing garbage.”

Consider, too, this added benefit: Workers at the Town's Sanitary Districts will now be able to work even fewer hours for full-time pay!

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