The Toronto Zoo plans to turn waste from its animals into power.


A biogas plant at Toronto Zoo will divert waste from the site to produce electricity, heat and fertilizer. ((Zooshare))

The zoo said that it would team up with ZooShare Biogas Co-operative Inc. to develop and operate a 500 kW biogas plant.

The project will be the first co-operatively-owned biogas plant in Canada as well as the first zoo-based biogas plant of its kind in North America.

Under the plan, Toronto-based ZooShare will be fully responsible for funding, designing, developing, constructing and operating the plant on lands leased from the zoo.

Both food waste from a major grocery retailer and all of the zoo's manure, which is currently composted, will go to the proposed plant where it will be processed into electricity, heat and fertilizer.

This will result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10,000 tonnes CO2, which is equal to taking over 1,800 cars off the road each year.

The organization said a community bond issue would fund the majority of the $5.4-million project. The issue offers investors a fixed return of seven per cent to an RRSP account.