Archive for December, 2014

A Steady Supply

December 31, 2014

The animals at the Philadelphia Zoo do not really take a vacation. While the Zoo may be closed on specific holidays, the animals are still being cared for. They are still fed, for example. And if they are still being fed, they are still processing that food and pooping out the parts they do not need (just like we humans). Some zoos (in addition to Philadelphia’s) have begun to think of creative ways to “reuse” the resulting “zoo poo.”

While zoos have both carnivores and herbivores in its care, only the herbivore manure can qualify to become “zoo poo”. The Philadelphia version of the Zoo Poo manure actually has a couple of interesting destinations. Part of it goes to Fairmount Park’s Organic Recycling Center, which in turn converts it (plus leaves, branches, grasses, etc.) into compost suitable for gardening. If you are a Philadelphia resident, then you can for free take home a 30 gallon can of compost. If you want more, you can buy more.

Another part of the herbivore manure goes to a local agricultural school, the W.B. Saul High School for Agriculture, part of the Philadelphia School District. The Saul School has a long established program that teaches students all about agriculture and food production. They take the Zoo Poo, along with other inputs such grasses and leaves, etc. and produce compost. The students also study the scientific properties of what makes good compost. Then they use it all around the Saul School Farm to help prepare the grounds for planting the next crop.

%d bloggers like this: