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The Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund has awarded $30,000 towards a feasibility study to help Wellington Zoo continue to reach their sustainability targets, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.

“Wellington Zoo is setting the bar high for sustainability initiatives and advocating the protection of wildlife by engaging visitors and the community. They have been a CarboNZero accredited zoo since 2013, and continue to strive towards reducing their environmental impacts,” Mr Simpson said.

This feasibility study will enable Wellington Zoo to investigate a suitable solution to upgrade their current composter so that it can reach the high temperatures needed to cope with the composting of organic waste generated from over 500 individual animals and over 260,000 visitors a year. The composter also needs to be able to function in the zoo’s hilly site in Wellington.

The zoo’s current closed-loop composter has largely been responsible for the reduction of waste to landfill of 79 per cent since becoming operational, but it can no longer keep up with the current composition and volume of organic material. Currently, the zoo composts nearly 45 per cent of its waste on site; however, an additional 22.5 per cent of compostable waste gets taken offsite to be composted.

“This project provides a great example of how a charitable trust, such as Wellington Zoo, can utilise Government funding to support their sustainability initiatives. These have the potential to divert large amounts of waste from ending up in landfill.”

The Waste Minimisation Fund provides financial support to projects that reduce environmental harm and provide social, economic and cultural benefits. It is funded from a levy introduced by the National-led Government in 2009, which is charged on waste disposed of at landfills to discourage waste and to fund recycling initiatives. Over $80 million has been awarded to more than 130 projects to date.

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