Zoo Doo in Tokyo Will Be Used to Produce Energy

A Tokyo-area zoo, weary of spending more than $275,000 a year to dispose of 1,060 tons of animal waste, has a new plan: It will ferment the droppings to create biogas that can be used as fuel. An experimental processing plant at the zoo should start producing biomass energy in 2005. If all goes according to plan, even the buses that shuttle visitors around the zoo will eventually run on methane derived from the animal dung. The processing plant will also produce fertilizer from the liquid waste left behind after fermentation — and if that fertilizer is used to grow food for the animals to eat, then the recycling project will have come full circle, said Shigeharu Asagiri, vice president of Kyodoshoji Corp., the private company that will build the processing facility.