By JOSH THALL
Capital News Service
Lansing — The Detroit Zoo plans to build a machine to effectively use one of its more plentiful resources — manure. The zoo’s proposed $1 million anaerobic biodigester would break down animal waste and produce a biogas as a source of electrical energy. It would be the first zoo-based biodigester built in North America. It could save the zoo around $70,000 to $80,000 in electricity per year, said Gerry VanAcker, the chief operating officer for the Detroit Zoo. Another $30,000 to $40,000 could be saved in operational costs, including cleanup, disposal and equipment expenses for the current waste-disposal process.