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Some zoos have become creative in composting and marketing the manure of their exotic animals. The Zoo-Doo Compost Company sells composted animal manure to novelty buyers and to organic gardeners. More than 160 zoo stores and 700 other retail outlets carry Zoo-Doo for sale to gag-gift buyers. In addition, gardeners buy larger quantities of the Zoo-Doo, which has a favorable nutrient ratio of 2-2-2 (2% each of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), and is an excellent soil amendment as well as an organic fertilizer.

Researchers, environmentalists, and program administrators all agree that creativity will be one of the keys to solving many waste problems. Many landfills are nearing their carrying capacity, and most of the older ones will be closed by the year 2005. Recycling, composting, and reusing are all environmentally and economically beneficial ways of greatly reducing the volume of the solid waste stream.

See also Waste management.



Beatley, Thomas. Green Urbanism. Washington DC: Island Press, 2000.

Braungart, Michael, and William McDonough. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. New York: North Point Press, 2002.

Christopher, Tom, and Marty Asher. Compost This Book! San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1994.

Earth Works Group. 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth. 3rd ed. Berkeley: Earthworks Press, 1998.

Matthews, John A., E. M. Bridges, and Christopher J. Caseldine The Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Environmental Change. New York: Edward Arnold, 2001.

McConnell, Robert, and Daniel Abel. Environmental Issues: Measuring, Analyzing, Evaluating. 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002.

Powelson, D.R., and M.A. Powelson. The Recycler's Manual for Business, Government, and the Environmental Community. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1997.

Strong, D.L., and D. Kimball. Recycling in America: A Reference Handbook. 2nd ed. Contemporary World Issues Series. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 1997.


Recycling Resource [cited March 2003]. <http://www.resourcerecycling.com/indices.html>.

"World's Shortest Comprehensive Recycling Guide." Internet Consumer Recycling Guide [cited March 2003]. <http://www.obviously.com/recycle/>.

Kitty Richman


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—The process by which organic waste, such as yard waste, food waste, and paper, is broken down by microorganisms and turned into a useful product for improving soil.


—Bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that break down organic material.


—Organic material made up of well-decomposed, high molecular-weight compounds. Humus contributes to soil tilth, and is a kind of organic fertilizer.


—An industrial facility used for the controlled burning of waste materials.


—An area of land that is used to dispose of solid waste and garbage.


—Animal dung.


—Bacteria, fungi, and other microscopic organisms.

Organic material

—Vegetable and animal biomass.


—Manufactured off-site, usually referring to a construction process that eliminates or reduces assembling.

Virgin material

—Material resources that have not previously been used for manufacturing or some other purpose.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Reason to RetrovirusRecycling - Process, Legislation, Policies, Recycling Collection Programs, Recyclable Materials, Composting, Preparing The Compost