photo: John Vetterli
The idea of a zoo using the waste of its own animals to generate electricity is not a new one: In the US the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York investigated using waste from its Asian elephant breeding program a few years back, but the economics of doing so didn’t quite work out.
Now, the Toronto Zoo hopes it can raise the CDN $13 million (US $10.5 million) it would need to turn on the poo power. Tech details are a bit sketchy but this is what we know so far:According to CBC News, the zoo estimates that its 5,000 animals produce enough manure to power a biogas-to-electricity plant which not only would be able to supply all of the zoo’s needs, but sell enough power back to the grid that the entire project would pay for itself within five years.
The trouble is the financing: The zoo suggested that that City of Toronto put up the money, but the City says it doesn’t have $13 million to spare in its budget. Not waiting for that ship to come in, the zoo says its exploring private sector funding which would allow construction to begin in 2009.