Smog Busters! Poznań reveals its latest weapon in the fight against pollution - an ‘air-sniffing’ drone

The high-tech drone will be used to monitor the skies for tell-tale signs of illegal rubbish burning. Urząd Miasta Poznania

An air-sniffing high-tech drone has begun to patrol the skies over Poznań in an effort to crack down on polluters burning toxic rubbish in their furnaces.

Using on-board sensors the drone will hunt for chemicals such as formaldehyde and hydrogen chloride suspended in soot, which are tell-tale signs that somebody is breaking the law by burning rubbish in furnaces used for heating buildings.

The drone is the city’s latest weapon in the fight against smog.Urząd Miasta Poznania

How to deal with air pollution has become a prominent issue in towns and cities across the country, and as a means of tackling the problem Poznań has launched a “Let’s end smog campaign” after inhabitants voted to allocate part of the city’s budget to cleaning up the town’s air.

The drone is part of the campaign.

Using on-board sensors the drone will hunt for chemicals such as formaldehyde and hydrogen chloride suspended in soot, which are tell-tale signs that somebody is breaking the law by burning rubbish in furnaces used for heating buildings.Urząd Miasta Poznania

“Thank you residents for voting for this project,” said Jacek Jaśkowiak, mayor of Poznań, at a press event for the drone.

“The drone is an effective tool at helping to eliminate the burning of illegal substances.

“Thanks to it we will be able to check many properties.”


Anybody caught out by the drone faces painful punishment by the law.

Failing to allow a property to be inspected can now attract a custodial sentence of up to three years, while a fine of up PLN 500,000 can be levied against people convicted of illegal burning.

The drone which will monitor smoke and inspect chimneys will enable authorities to “analysis fumes, and punish people who burn illegal fuel.”Urząd Miasta Poznania

“The drone is a maintenance-free flying system that can inspect chimneys and monitor smoke,” said Przemysław Surdyk, acting director of the Faculty of Environmental Management at Poznań’s Medical University.

“Thanks to it we can analysis fumes, and punish people who burn illegal fuel.

“And people do burn everything: chipboard, fibreboard, clothing, tyres and much more.

“The chemicals released by incineration are very harmful to the public,” he added.

Anybody caught out by the drone faces painful punishment by the law.Urząd Miasta Poznania

Poznań’s Straż Miejska (City Guards) also have the legal authority to carry out inspections of properties where they suspect illegal fuel is being burnt and take samples.