The North Carolina Zoo comprises 500 acres of animal exhibits in natural
surroundings on a 1,500-acre site. During FY 94-95, approximately 934,000
people visited the zoo. The zoos waste streams can be separated into visitor waste,
animal waste, plant waste, and miscellaneous solid wastes. The materials generated
from these areas are listed below:
Visitor waste: Food wrappers, drink cups, assorted paper, paper towels
(144 yd3 per year)
To address the waste streams, a conservation audit was conducted in 1990, and the
initial waste reduction activities begun. The Conservation Captains group was
established in 1994 to monitor the waste reduction activities.
Compost: Animal and plant waste is composted on site and used on the zoo
grounds. An expansion is planned for the current compost site to
handle all animal and plant waste. Energy: Zoo employees use bicycles for short trips instead of vehicles, some
park rangers use bicycles instead of golf carts, thermostats in
buildings are on timers to reduce energy use at night, and 40-watt
bulbs are being replaced with 30-watt bulbs. Paper: The zoo reduces paper use by making duplex copies, reusing file
folders and envelopes, posting memos on bulletin boards, making
scratch pads from waste office paper, and using only one paper towel
for hand drying. Pesticides: Biological controls are substituted for pesticides when possible. For
example, green lacewings are used in the exhibit areas to prey on a
whole variety of insect pests, and encarsia are used to prey on
spiders, mites, and aphids. If a pest problem develops on larger
plants, the plants are hand-washed with alcohol or soap to kill the
pests. Water: Water and wastewater meters are being installed to monitor water
use and to identify leaks. The zoo uses non-potable water from lakes
for irrigation. In addition, water at the Rocky Coast exhibit is
filtered and reused. Reuse: Boxes are placed at the zoo exit to collect brochures and maps for
reuse. Wood: Wood is chipped for mulch or chopped and given away as firewood.
Comments: The Zoo maintains a county drop-off site that collects approximately 1.9 tons/year
of aluminum cans, 19.8 tons/year of newspapers, 14.1 tons/year of glass, and 3.4
tons/year of plastics. The site recently added mixed paper and other plastics. In
addition to the drop-off site, the Zoo also maintains a trailer for the collection of
mixed office paper (0.5 tons/year) and corrugated cardboard (20 tons/year). Used
oil generated at the Zoo (600 gal/year) is recycled through state contract.
Details of Reductions
293.0 - Tons of
Comments: 348 yd3/year (18 percent) of animal waste is composted.
Every ton of waste composted saves $40 in landfill hauling and tipping fees and $40 in soil supplement purchases, and every pound of waste reduced saves 2 cents
in landfill hauling and tipping fees.
3,371.0 - Tons of
Comments: 4,000 yd3/yr (80 percent) of plant
waste is composted.
1.9 - Tons of
Comments: 1.9 tons/year
of aluminum cans
19.8 - Tons of
Comments: 19.8 tons/year of newspapers
14.0 - Tons of
Comments: 14.1 tons/year of glass
3.0 - Tons of
Comments: 3.4 tons/year of plastics.