GOAL: Divert 30% of waste from the landfill.
Baseline: 8.5% diversion rate
Current (Q3 2020): 60.6% diversion rate
Goal (2021): 30% diversion rate
In 2018, departments across the Zoo worked together to eliminate Styrofoam use in dining services by changing purchasing policies.
The Zoo composts waste generated from zoo-keeping such as animal waste and straw bedding. Compost weight was added to the diversion rate beginning in 2018, which previously was based solely on recycling. Composting increased the diversion rate approximately 40%. An increase in browse for animal diets and enrichment has increased compost generation.
The Zoo partnered with local businesses as part of “The First Step” campaign to reduce plastic straw use. As part of this campaign, the Zoo switched from single-use plastic straws to more environmentally-friendly biodegradable paper straws.
Hands-free Towel Dispensers
In 2021 the Zoo will replace bathroom towel dispensers with hands-free options, which will more efficiently provide paper towels and reduce unnecessary waste.
Water Bottle Filling Stations
All non-public-facing water fountains are being converted to hands free, cup-fillers in early 2021. Public-facing water fountains are also slated for replacement in the second half of 2021.