Marwell Zoo to become the first in the UK to heat its buildings using ‘zoo poo’

Paul Collins

Animal poo, used bedding and leftover hay will all help power Marwell Zoo’s new tropical house

A zoo in Hampshire is using poo from endangered species of zebra, oryx, and wild ass to heat buildings at its site.

It will become the first zoo of its kind to generate renewable energy using animal dung.

Marwell Zoo will use 600 tonnes of animal poo as part of the environmentally friendly new scheme.

It is all part of plans for the zoo near Winchester to become carbon neutral by next year.

More animal stories here

Marwell Zoo to become the first in the UK to heat its buildings using 'zoo poo'Jason Brown

Poo from endangered species such as these Grevy’s Zebra will be used

How does it work?

Zookeepers sweep up the zoo poo from the animal enclosures each morning before a truck collects the waste and transports it to the Zoo’s Energy Centre.

Once there, a digger then transfers the mixture of manure and hay to a shredder for mixing.

The mixture is then dried and pressed into blocks, called briquettes, which are fed into the boiler.

Marwell Zoo to become the first in the UK to heat its buildings using 'zoo poo'Paul Collins

A truck collects the poo and hay from around the zoo

The boiler produces hot water, which is fed into a 15,000 litre store.

That water then flows through underground pipes to heat the zoo’s tropical house.

The tropical house contains animals including Linne’s two-toed sloths, free-flying tropical birds and crocodile monitor lizards.

Marwell Zoo to become the first in the UK to heat its buildings using 'zoo poo'Lara Jackson

Santos the Linne’s two-toed sloth is one of the animals that will be kept warm thanks to the zoo poo

Tropical plants in the building will also benefit from the warm, humid environment.

Dr Duncan East from the Zoo said “Using heat in this way from our own animals is unique in the UK and as far as we know across the world.”

“The urgent need to reduce the burning of fossil fuels and leave these high carbon sources in the ground means we can’t act soon enough to replace the oil-fired heating systems in these buildings,” he added.

In the future, the zoo hopes to be able to power more buildings across its site with the animal poo!

What do you think of the idea?

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