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Reducing Waste at the Zoo

Categories: Conservation, Visitor Services

This summer Kampala Café took on a new challenge – to reduce their trash and divert food waste out of the landfill. With partner Atlas Disposal and their ReFuel program, waste stations were set up in the café and staff were trained to sort trash, recycling and food waste. Leftover food that is usually thrown in the trash is diverted to an anaerobic digester and turned into clean natural gas that power fleet vehicles in Sacramento.

Reducing Waste at the ZooFour months into the program and they are diverting 72% to the food waste program, 18% to recycling and only 10% is going to the landfill! Staff are encouraged to bring food waste in from home too.

The Sacramento Zoo is also diverting food waste at signature fundraising events like Ice Cream Safari and Wild Affair in addition to the established fruit and vegetable composting program for the animal care kitchen.

We are proud to be diverting thousands of pounds of food waste and compost from the landfill every month and strive to increase our sustainable practices.

What can you do to reduce your waste production?
  • Help us reduce bottle water consumption by bringing your own bottle to the Zoo and filling up at the drinking fountains. Imagine how many bottles you could save and it reduces carbon emissions emitted during transport.
  • Eating at Kampala Café? Let us take your trays! We’ll make sure everything is sorted correctly.
  • Buy in the bulk section of your local grocery store and bring your own containers to reduce packaging and plastic bags. You can even bring your own containers for laundry, kitchen, bath and body supplies at Refill Madness in midtown Sacramento.
  • Start composting at home! There are composting solutions for gardens, yards, even under-the-sink options for apartment dwellers. Check out for free composting seminars.
  • Invest in reusable snack bags like the ones from Itzy Ritzy or Russbe instead of throw-away bags.
  • Choose to dine out at restaurants that are part of the Green Restaurant Alliance (GRAS). They are committed to a culture of sustainability from the farm to the table, including diverting food waste!