Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Less is More

Reducing, reusing, and recycling are practices the Oakland Zoo takes seriously. Using less resources and creating less waste is good for the environment, animals, and people, as well as our budget.


The Oakland Zoo believes less is more. The less we purchase and use, the less waste we create ultimately. The Zoo reduces purchasing by creating our own rich soil on the zoo grounds out of composted herbivore manure. We reduce fuel use by driving electric carts on the zoo grounds and hybrid cars when we visit schools. We reduce water use by installing low flush toilets in our buildings. Electricity usage is reduced through the installation of motion sensitive light features and our various solar panels. Our ZooLights event uses only LED lights to delight our visitors.


The zoo believes in reusing. When new items are built in the zoo, we re-use lumber and other materials as much as possible. Boxes, burlap sacks, Christmas trees, fire hoses, pumpkins and more are re-used to create exciting enrichment items for the animals, diverting waste from the landfill and providing a happier life for our zoo residents.


Glass, aluminum, paper and plastic are recycled on the grounds and in the offices. We also recycle our light bulbs, ink cartridges, batteries and anything else that we can keep out of the landfill. Cell phones and other electronics are recycled through our Eco-Cell program. Bring your used cell phone to the zoo to be recycled in exchange for a free ride on the train.

Closing the Loop

The Oakland Zoo purchases recycled products whenever possible, such as paper, envelopes and folders. Many of our benches and decks are also made from recycled materials, like milk crates.