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The Denver Zoo’s just-0pened, $50 million exhibit for Asian elephants, Malayan tapirs and greater one-horned rhinos, is being trumpeted as a place where visitors can explore the history of animals in Asian culture and their complicated relationship with humans.
But the world’s largest bull elephant habitat is also a place where mountains of dung – as much as 100 pounds per day from each of the zoo’s four resident pachyderms – are being turned into sustainable energy. When the zoo’s gasification system is operational later this year or early in 2013, it will convert more than 90 percent of the zoo’s waste into power and heat and eliminate 1.5 million pounds of trash that goes to landfills each year.
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