What We Do
The Zoo engages in a wide range of sustainable practices and is always searching for ways to improve our contribution to conservation of resources. Some of our programs are similar to programs that many people participate in. We have a battery recycling program, cell phone recycling (available to the public), electricity use reduction programs, and plastics recycling, just to name a few.
Some of our sustainability efforts are more unique to the Zoo. We recycle some materials to provide an enriched, more stimulating environment for our animals by providing them with safe, but unique new items for them to explore such as cardboard boxes, telephone books, old clothing, or discarded spices or perfumes to “mark” predator’s enclosures. Find out more about enrichment here
. Throughout the zoo our animal enclosures are on automatic timers to shut the lights off at appropriate times. This practice benefits the animal’s psychological well-being and conserves electricity as well. Much more is happening at the Zoo so please check back as we continue to update this page.
Omaha’s Zoo has been actively engaged in recycling and sustainability efforts for many years and is committed to long-term sustainability efforts. Interested in how we are working toward these goals? Check out some of our efforts and achievement below:
Did you know that the Zoo recycles six different kinds of batteries? We collect varieties of both rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries to be recycled to make sure that they do not end up in a landfill. The Zoo has already recycled almost 400 pounds of batteries.
The Zoo takes care of more than just animals. We also have busy offices and research laboratories that use computers, copiers, lab equipment, and more. The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium recycles its electronics through PC Recycling. The Zoo has recycled well over 5000 pounds of electronic items to date.
Cell Phone Recycling
Have an old cell phone lying around? Bring it to the Zoo’s Guest Services, the Wild Kingdom Pavilion, or the elevator building. The Zoo collects unwanted cell phones to help the Orangutan Conservancy. Over $1,000 has been donated to date.
Zoo Recycling Program
The Zoo makes every effort to recycle all appropriate materials here on grounds. Since the spring of 2011, we have recycled almost 152,000 pounds of material and you have helped us! When you visit the Zoo, be sure to look for our new recycle bins. All thanks to a grant from The Nebraska Environmental Trust
Fryer Oil Train Fuel
All aboard the Omaha Zoo’s Railroad! The train is a family favorite at the Zoo and runs a little greener these days. Each year, between 300-400 gallons of fryer oil is repurposed from the Zoo’s concessions for use in the train.
Electronic Pay Stubs
Does your employer offer a non-paper pay stub? Zoo employees can elect to receive an electronic version of their pay statement each month to help save paper.
Aquarium Water Reclaim
For almost 20 years, the Zoo has been removing, filtering and replacing water in the Shark Reef exhibit in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium. The numbers add up quickly. With approximately 25,000 gallons reclaimed each week, the Zoo has saved more than 17 million gallons of water since 1995.
We are very proud of all that we have accomplished so far. But there is more to be done! Check back often to see what we are up to next.