2016 Recycling Champion

December 20, 2016



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The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority annually recognizes individuals, institutions or industries that have taken the initiative to reduce their solid waste stream through reduction, recycling and proper disposal.

“This year, the Authority is honoring the Utica Zoo which continues to be an advocate for both the environment and its wildlife through their solid waste reduction, material re-purposing, recycling and energy conservation program,” said Emily Albright, Authority Director of Recycling.

The Authority is pleased to announce that the Utica Zoo is the recipient of the 2016 Recycling Champion Award.

Utica Zoo partnered with the Authority to conduct an on-site solid waste and recycling review to profile types and volumes of waste and recyclables, and to identify its origins and handling of such waste. In April 2016, the Utica Zoo received the Authority’s RecycleOne Business Certification.

Utica Zoo’s sustainable efforts include:

  • Forming an active Green Team
  • Hosting annual Earth Day events and educational programs
  • Updating to energy star qualified appliances
  • Donating unused produce to a local pig farmer
  • Composting of animal waste, bedding and food scraps
  • Using Sustainable Forestry Initiative Certified Paper
  • Converting from paper to electronic records
  • Replacing all light bulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs
  • Proper disposal of sharps and medical waste
  • Proper recycling of electronics
  • Reusable food containers and preparation utensils
  • The reuse and re-purpose of various donations
  • Providing garbage and recycling containers throughout the property
  • Developing an aggressive recycling program for all events and activities at the Zoo
  • Implementing waste reduction and energy efficient policies and practices

During daily operations, many materials are re-purposed and reused:

  • Use of shredded paper and newspaper for animal bedding and lining of cages
  • Use of cardboard boxes and old toys as enrichment for the animals
  • Use of fallen trees around the property for both animal habitat and play

“Utica Zoo has done a tremendous job. They have gone above and beyond and are consistently working on new projects and innovative ways that they can improve or help the environment and its wildlife. Utica Zoo is well deserving of this Award,” concluded Emily Albright, Authority Director of Recycling.

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