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POOP to POWER

Paws Up to the Zoo; I barked about the Denver Zoo in my first book, Doggone Green. They win my Doggone Green Crusader On-the Move honor for being the first zoo in the U.S. to be acknowledged for its super duper environmental management program. I say how cool is that? The designation was given by some big-wig international group of humans for getting things right for a change. I say it's about time!

The zoo's goal is to create a 10-acre improvement dedicated to elephant and rhino conservation, with a gasification power plant, that will create energy from the campus waste stream. Denver Zoo's landfill contributions will be reduced by 1.5 million pounds per year, putting the zoo a giant step closer to becoming a "zero-waste" facility.

I am excited about the zoo's Poop-to-Power research. The Asian elephants, Mimi and Dolly who weigh 10,100 and 7,600 pounds, respectively and who each produce 75-100 pounds of waste every day may be able to help the zoo trim energy bills and trips to the landfill.

The way I look at it; when you add up the zoo's waste plus Denver's cat and dog population's poop all currently being trucked to the landfills you can imagine the zoo's gasification power plant would be poop-ular.  I congratulate the zoo for its planning. That would be a giant step closer to becoming a zero-waste facility.

In San Francisco, where 4% of residential waste is dog poop, the city decided to put the stinky stuff to work. Turning our poop into electricity is a groovy thing. Imagine reducing our paw-print by pumping out stinkers? Of course by bovine friends have been running farm machinery off of their manure for years. These days bigger and bigger projects are being built around the country to power homes. The government is catching on too with a plan to offer pocketbook credits. Imagine; a cleaner environment and more jobs all compliments of animal poop.

They might want to look into a contraption made in Texas that works deep in the bowels of a landfill; a super powerful garbage-eating machine.. It works like the wind inside a tornado, grinding garbage into tiny pieces. Technology like this has the potential to close down city landfills. That's a good thing as landfill costs are rising and space is disappearing. The grinder turns waste into compost or energy.

Lots of ground-breaking stuff is happening in the recycling world. I always say find places to recycle trash into cash for a cause. Find a local group and take your recycles---paper, aluminum, glass, plastic and steel---there. This is also a good time to remind pet's ‘n their people that composting organic kitchen waste is not hard. Use worms or start a compost pile when the weather gets warmer. Read up; it can be a safe alternative if you pay attention and use it on non-edible plants, trees and shrubs.

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With all the fretting and political posturing about high gas prices why not adopt a dog's solution.


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