Going Green: Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Published 08/19 2014 01:24PM

Updated 08/19 2014 01:51PM

The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo recycles more than 140 tons of material every year.  That's the weight of about 20 elephants on one scale!

You might not think of the Zoo as a clean place but about  years ago, they formed the Resource Conservation Taskforce, also known as the Zoo's "Green Team" and they have found several ways to reduce energy use, raise awareness, save money, and clean up our city.

"We think the easiest way to encourage people to recycle is to make it easy for them.  To provide the necessary bins throughout the zoo, to make it easy for them."

Every year, more than 500,000 people visit the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo and with that much traffic, the zoo is able to make a huge impact on Fort Wayne's conservation efforts.

"Just last year along in 2013, we were able to send 107 tons of leaves, brush, straw, and manure to the bio solids handling facility here in town."

In addition, the zoo recycled nearly 1700 pounds of plastic bags, 15 tons of cardboard, and another 15 tons of recyclables from pick-up bins placed around the zoo and a lot of this was because of you, the visitors!

"We've drastically increased the number of recycling bins throughout the entire zoo.  We've added little things too.  Adding signage to paper towel dispensers throughout the zoo to encourage people not to use twice what they probably would want to take."

Eagleson says every year the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo decreases the amount of waste that they send to the landfill.

In 2010, they received the Bright Green Certified Business Certification through the Northeast Indiana Sustainable Business Council, which was a huge victory for the Zoo's Green Team.

"Part of the Zoo's mission statement is to inspire people to care, and we feel it was important for us to actually practice this and live the green way."

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