Except, citizens living near City Park are kinda worried getting rained on by elephant dump ash.
A shit-storm is brewing in the Mile-High City. Denverites are up-in-arms about an experimental new incinerator at the zoo which will turn smoldering heaps of elephant dung into clean energy it can run off of.
By simply incinerating the elephant dung to produce electricity, the zoo will reduce annual landfill waste by 750 tons and save up to $150,000 a year, according to a report by RedOrbit. The only byproduct is shit ash, which can be added to soil. The industrially baked elephant dumps should provide about 20 percent of the zoo’s current electrical requirements.
The Denver Zoo’s new the state-of-the-art $3 million facility will convert 90 percent of its waste (meaning everything from trash left by visitors to animal feces) into clean, sustainable energy with the biomass gasification technology. The zoo has the ambitious goal of having zero waste by 2025. That's nice, isn't it?
Well, the citizens neighboring the incinerator have a different goal: not living in a toxic, miasmatic dump cloud now or ever.
Neighbors of the new facility are less than amped about the poop-zoo idea, and justifiably so. A major objection to the plant is its location, which is only 150 yards from City Park. Locals and city officials are also concerned about the potential impact on air quality, amongst other safety issues. According to the Denver Post, the experimental high-temperature incinerator will produce tons of toxic gases and particles, depositing them in and around the park.
Zoo officials haven’t be specific about what exact emissions will be released from the facility; however, they are resolute in assuring the public that these aforementioned noxious gases will meet all public health guidelines.
Opposition groups, mainly the Sierra Club and Denver’s Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation coalition, believe that much of the waste could be more easily recycled opposed to incinerated with a much smaller price tag.
Despite heavy opposition, the zoo is keeping pace with their construction plans and hopes to have the incinerator running within a few months.
There’s still time to enjoy the park for now, but in the future, be weary of the murky cumulous clouds weighing over Duck Lake and maybe bring an umbrella.