Zoos Victoria is working towards zero waste to landfill by 2019 across their three locations. They will achieve this by ensuring all recyclable materials are separated and reused, recycled, composted or converted to energy. They reduce, re-use and recycle wherever possible, from worm farming to in-vessel composting (which effectively acts like a giant earthworm). They even use park benches from recycled plastics, collected from the Zoo’s operations.
In this video Melbourne Zoo's Sustainability Manager, Thomas Meek, demonstrates how they process all their compostable waste through onsite, in-vessel composter – Hot Rot.
This wonderful machine, and dedicated team, turns 14 tonnes of waste every week into compost. That's about 700 tonnes of organic waste per year that would otherwise be landfill, this resource is instead used to improve soil health and return valuable nutrients back to the ground.
All waste is shredded into uniform sized pieces and loaded into their state-of-the-art, in-vessel composter. The decomposing organic material is enclosed in a cylinder, where temperature, moisture and odors are controlled to rapidly break down organic material into compost. The compost material is then commercially blended to create Zoo Gro; compost that is suitable for use as soil conditioners and organic fertilisers.
By composting, Melbourne Zoo diverts two tonnes of organic material a day from landfill, helping Zoos Victoria to be the world’s first carbon neutral zoological organisation.
Zoo Gro is available for purchase from selected nurseries or in bulk from Bulleen Art and Garden.