The new Sydney Zoo in Bungaribee is Australia’s most advanced zoo situated in the heart of Western Sydney. Utilizing the latest in waste management technology and innovation and best practice in environmentally friendly waste solutions, Grasshopper Environmental has developed an end-to-end sustainable waste solution that is our most advanced yet.
Grasshopper Environmental initially engaged with Sydney Zoo during the early stages of construction at 20% completion. Working closely with Management, Grasshopper Environmental assessed requirements set out by zoo architects for waste management during construction and ongoing waste management once the zoo was open to the public. Sydney Zoo emphasised the importance placed on sustainability and in creating an operation with a minimal carbon footprint. Diverting as much from landfill as possible was another important goal in achieving greater sustainability, driven by Sydney Zoo’s vision to ‘secure a sustainable future for wildlife and to improve animal welfare, visitor engagement and education’.
Once our waste management consultants were able to understand the full scope of requirements and the volume of waste that would be produced from construction, animal waste, and general operational waste, a best in practice waste management plan was developed featuring the latest in waste management innovation and technology.
Considering some of the disadvantages associated with traditional waste bins at similar establishments, Grasshopper Environmental had introduced solar-powered bins throughout the grounds of Sydney Zoo as an effective way of managing waste produced by the public.
Some of the disadvantages to traditional waste bins include the amount of labour required to empty bins. With several waste disposal locations across the zoo grounds, the task of managing all bins would prove to be labour intensive. The solution, Big Belly Solar-powered bins. This innovative waste collection solution is positioned across multiple sites across the zoo and is equipped with back to base, real-time monitoring allowing Grasshopper Environmental to manage fill levels, preventing unsightly overloaded bins and ensuring timely servicing. Completely powered by solar energy, monitoring systems are non-reliant on any other power source to operate.
Each solar-powered Big belly bin is internally equipped with a compactor powered completely by solar energy. These compactors enable each bin to hold 8 x the capacity of waste, resulting in up to 80% reduced collections and reduced Co2 emissions.
Compostable cafeteria waste
A common obstacle that impacts overall recycling and composting efforts are non-recyclable materials used for food packaging and utensils. To overcome this issue and increase overall recycling rates, BioPak utensils, plates and cups made from corn starch are used at the Sydney Zoo.
Completely commercially compostable, Sydney Zoo’s cafeteria waste reduces the need for conventional plastic considerably and diverts tonnes of plastic and waste that would otherwise end up in landfill.
Organic Waste Recycling
In consideration of the type of waste produced at Sydney zoo, Organic waste is produced at a higher rate than other waste types. Organic waste at Sydney Zoo includes FOGO (Food Organic Green Organic) predominantly made up of food waste, animal waste, BioPak and animal enclosure waste.
To provide a complete sustainable solution, all organic waste is commercially composted and transformed into soil enhancers used for urban, environmental and agricultural markets. This assists our environment by reducing the carbon footprint and allows Grasshopper environmental to facilitate a more sustainable operation for Sydney Zoo.
No Plastic Bags
A major contaminant found in recycling bins everywhere is plastic bin liners. To circumvent contamination and reduce the use of plastic, bin liners used across Sydney Zoo bins are made from corn starch with the benefit of being commercially compostable.
In addition to waste being managed during everyday operation, Grasshopper Environmental effectively manages Quarantine waste from animals imported and quarantined at Sydney Zoo. This includes safe handling, transportation and facilitating the treatment and disposal of waste.