LIMA — The Peruvian capital has no shortage of vultures flying overhead. For the past year they have also been enlisted to help find, and perhaps eventually clear, some of Lima's worst illegal trash heaps.

How is it done? The city and scientists have been using 10 vultures strapped with GPS and GoPro cameras to help follow their travels in the pursuit of every sort of leftovers.

The sprawling capital produces 45% of all the country's trash, recycling just 4% of it, and authorities are concerned by the impact on health. The technology sends information to authorities every half hour, say scientists involved with the project.

The devices recharge using the sun and the data can be viewed on several websites including Google Earth, says Letty Salinas, head of ornithology at the natural history museum of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. She has said the project will also show how buzzards interact with organic remains and how they might contribute to its control.