The non-profit ZooShare Biogas Co-operative Inc. is developing a 500 kilowatt biogas plant at the Toronto Zoo.
The facility, projected to start construction in mid-2014, will turn the zoo’s poo and local grocery waste into electricity, heat and high-quality fertilizer. This community-based project will save more than 12,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from entering the environment, and 10 per cent of its earnings will contribute to conservation programs at the Toronto Zoo. Innovative community bonds are being used to finance the project.
How will it work? The plant will accept poo from the zoo (animals such as rhinos, bison, hippos and pandas will make major contributions!) and food waste from local supermarkets – these materials will be stored for roughly 50 days in an anaerobic digester. This process creates biogas that will be burned in a generator, producing enough electricity to power approximately 250 homes annually. Any leftover material will serve as high-quality fertilizer for local farmers and backyard gardeners.
The biogas plant will be the first co-operatively-owned biogas facility in Canada and the first Zoo biogas plant in North America! ZooShare wants to encourage investment in community-owned biogas projects across North America to significantly reduce emissions, improve local economies and cause a shift in the way people see their waste.
To learn more about the project, and how to invest through ZooShare’s Community Bonds, visit zooshare.ca.