Spring Cleaning Season at the Indianapolis Zoo

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The Indianapolis Zoo began its spring-cleaning season March 13 by hosting Power Recycling Day, presented by Technology Recyclers. This event gave participants the opportunity to dispose of their clutter and old electronics in an environmentally friendly way. 

In the zoo’s parking lot, visitors could bring old electronics for proper disposal, which was aimed to keep harmful pollutants out of local landfills. Most electronics, such as video game systems, cell phones, laptops, computers, tablets and more were accepted free of charge. Televisions and monitors were accepted for a $20 fee. 

Staff from Technology Recyclers, a local Indianapolis electronics recycling company, were on-site to help unload the electronics from participant’s cars. As a way to show their gratitude for donating, the Indianapolis Zoo gave out coupons for a discounted admission. 

“The zoo, first and foremost, is a conservation organization,” Melanie Laurendine, Indianapolis Zoo conservation PR specialist, said. “We want to not only educate people about conservation, but give them actionable ways that they can help the environment.” 

Electronics trash, called e-waste, only makes up 2% of trash produced annually in the United States. However, it contributes to about 70% of the environmental pollutants. Consumer interest in recycling their old electronics has seen a decline within the last few years. 

A report released in 2019 by the United Nations showed worldwide production of e-waste is 50 million tons annually and is predicted to reach 120 million tons by 2050. According to a recent EPA study, in 2014 nearly 42% of U.S.-generated e-waste was being recycled. However, that number had dropped to less than 36% by 2017. 

“This gives people a way to help the environment while only making small lifestyle changes in order to make it as easy as possible for them,” Laurendine said. 

The zoo takes a leadership role in this challenge by hosting two Power Recycling days a year, and also recycling as much waste as possible. From recycling plastics and office paper to tree trimmings and animal bedding materials, such as straw and wood chips, the zoo makes sure to make bettering the environment a priority. 

On average, the Indianapolis Zoo recycles more than 102,000 pounds of materials annually that otherwise would go to area landfills. 

The zoo will be holding another Power Recycling Day this fall for those who would like to help contribute to keeping the environment clean and make a world of difference.


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