An alternative plan could be produced for Zoo Victoria to manage organic waste more effectively in order to achieve the goal of “zero waste” by 2019.
They already have effective ways to manage their organic waste such as composting, worm farming, reusable goods and public place recycling, but there is still one alternative they could implement: a fermentation process. Cows, sheep and other ruminants are thought to be responsible for around one-fifth of global methane production, but the precise amount has proved difficult to quantify.
In most zoos, animal waste occupies 50% of the organic waste. Therefore, animal dung should also be properly treated and used to its greatest value. The Tama Zoological Park Manager has indicated that methane produced by the fermentation of animal manure can avoid environmental pollution and be used for the processing of bio fuels (Arita 2003). So the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has recently provided a plan to recycle animal dung, which can also cut disposal costs and save on the use of fossil fuels (Arita 2003). In order to achieve this goal and help Tama Zoological Park become Japan’s first zoo to recycle animal dung as methane energy, they built a methane experimental processing plant in 2005. It is a big project and was expensive.
Instead of this method, I propose the building of small individual underground methane tanks, which can be applied in every zoo. (see image below)
After this, they should create specific scale Underground methane tanks under the zoo fecal treatment area. Compare the methane underground system with compost made, the built methane can reduce cost and bring the greatest benefit to the zoo.
Every day the staff store the collected organic waste into the underground methane tank through the pipeline in the fecal treatment area. Then after a period of fermentation, the methane that is produced by the underground methane tanks is used to provide the zoo’s entire electricity system and the gas for the restaurant’s cooking. Likewise, Hiroshima University professor Naomichi Nishio, who chaired the Metropolitan Government’s Biomass Project Selection Committee, has pointed out that the technology for producing methane from organic waste has reached a practical stage (Thomas Klasson& Nhuan (John) P 2003). It can help Zoo Victoria cut the cost of disposing dung by recycling the waste.
Elephant and rhinoceros dung was used to investigate the feasibility of generating methane. Based on the amount of dung generated at the Knoxville Zoo, it is estimated that two standard garden grills could be operated using the gas from a digester treating 20 metric tons of herbivore dung per week (Thomas Klasson& Nhuan (John) P 2003).
I believe this system will provide “Zoo Victoria” a better waste management alternative.
Arita, E. 2003, ‘Biomass plant to recycle zoo’s animal waste now a dung deal’, The Japan Times, 12 November, viewed 12 on June 2016, < http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2003/11/12/national/biomass-plant-to-recycle-zoos-animal-waste-now-a-dung-deal/#.V107zeZ96L->
‘Biogas’, Ashden post, viewed 12 on June, < https://www.ashden.org/biogas >
GBE Factory 2014, Organic waste recycling and energy recovery in Italy, Youtube, viewed 12 on June 2016, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFqGW32Rf6U >
Iwuoha, J. 2014, ‘Biogas – How This Common but Underexplored Cooking Fuel is Changing Lives in Africa’, smallstarte business idea, 2 March, viewed 12 on June 2016, < http://www.smallstarter.com/browse-ideas/how-to-start-a-biogas-production-business-in-africa/ >
Thomas Klasson, K., & Nhuan (John) P, Nghiem. 2003, ‘Energy Production from Zoo Animal Wastes’, United States Government, viewed 12 on June 2016, < http://web.ornl.gov/~webworks/cppr/y2001/rpt/116441.pdf>
Zoos Victoria, Zoo Gro, viewed 10 June 2016,< http://www.zoo.org.au/sustainability/zoo-gro>