June 2005

Los Angeles zoo saves $58,000Los Angeles Zoo

Los Angeles, CA— The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens received the State of California’s top waste reduction environmental award for outstanding achievement in on-site recycling, materials reuse and diversion, and waste prevention. One of only 10 businesses statewide to earn this distinction, the zoo was presented with the 2004 Waste Reduction Awards Program WRAP of the Year honor by the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

“Recycling is a vital component of environmental protection,” said Board Chair Rosario Marin at the award ceremony, held during the zoo’s annual ‘Earth Day’ festivities. “At the Los Angeles Zoo, recycling is closely connected with wildlife conservation and both visitors and employees are actively supporting this local treasure by reducing waste. Our natural resources must be protected today and into the future. It’s a joy to recognize the zoo for moving California closer to a zero waste society.”

The zoo’s signature programs include composting, recycling, and “Rascal, the Recycling Raccoon,” the mascot star of a mobile recycling show that has visited more than 3,000 school children throughout Los Angeles. Innovative solutions to waste reduction currently in practice at the facility include a commitment to purchasing recycled-content products, shredding office paper and using it for animal bedding, and active participation in Los Angeles’ materials exchange program.

The zoo has diverted 74 percent of its annual waste, including more than 1,500 tons of animal manure and landscape trimmings that go into creating compost that is returned for use at the facility. Between selling recyclables such as paper, cardboard, and beverage containers, and keeping its organic materials out of local landfills, the zoo saves approximately $58,000 a year in trash hauling fees.

 


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