ZSL London Zoo & Whipsnade Zoo - Working Towards Zero Landfill

ACM and London Zoo container with branding


ZSL London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo generate no less than 27 waste streams, including hundreds of tonnes of ‘zoo poo’, every year. The zoos are open 364 a year and this, plus the unusual combination of animal, visitor and day-to-day operational waste, was making cost efficient, environmentally compliant waste management a challenge.

Both ZSL London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo required an innovative waste management service that would optimise environmental performance, increase recycling levels and keep them fully compliant with relevant legislation. Their aim was to divert at least 95% of their waste from landfill, so ACM – the UK’s first carbon neutral waste management company – was an ideal partner to help them achieve their goal.


ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo produce enormous amounts of waste every day, so their waste management needed a large-scale, long-term plan. As a result ACM agreed a six-year waste management contract, with clear goals to increase rates of recycling and reduce waste to landfill.

Initially, ACM installed new bins and recycling points around both ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Staff and visitors at both sites are educated and encouraged to use these and recycle more, with clear bin labelling and the Day Planner (which is handed to visitors on arrival) which includes details of where bins are located.

Glass, dry mixed recycling, food, plastic and cardboard waste is collected and compacted in Portable Waste Compactors, saving space, reducing collections and optimising their resale value for recycling.

Zoo poo required special treatment. This waste (520 tonnes is produced by resident herbivores including giraffes, bongos and camels at ZSL London Zoo alone!) is stored in special state of the art compactors before being taken to the nearest treatment facility to be turned into fertiliser.

Our Environmental Services Programme (ESP) helps the zoos even further. Online recording and tracking of every waste stream makes auditing and compliance simple, and with recycling equipment, collection requests and payment facilities also available, it puts the customer in complete control.


“Working with ACM and their one stop shop solution is like having a large logistical weight lifted. The tracking of all our waste streams is straightforward with the online ESP system and is easily accessible. The ACM staff I have dealt with have all be professional, knowledgeable and very helpful.”

Jamie Turner, ZSL London Zoo Estates Manager



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