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The Heap

Poo at the Zoo

When Paul Simon wrote that it’s all happening at the zoo, he probably didn’t have animal waste being converted to a power source in mind. But that’s what the folks at the Denver Zoo are doing.

According to an article from the “Popular Science” magazine website, three zoo employees along with the National Renewable Energy Lab and some other parties, developed a gasification technology that turns waste generated by zoo residents and trash generated by zoo visitors into fuel for a modified rickshaw to travel around the zoo.

The vehicle runs on gasified pellets composed from the waste material. The zoo also will use the technology to generate power at the zoo’s soon-to-open 10-acre elephant exhibit. The zoo believes it eventually can turn 90 percent of its waste into energy, including about 1.5 million pounds of traditional waste.

Come to think of it, those Simon & Garfunkel song lyrics do go at the end, “What a gas!"

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