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At The National Zoo, A Joint Recycling Effort

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Earth Day is over, but the National Zoo is encouraging people -- and animals -- to keep recycling by finding new uses for old materials.
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Earth Day is over, but the National Zoo is encouraging people -- and animals -- to keep recycling by finding new uses for old materials.

Zoo keeper Rebecca Smithson is giving a tour of the old cardboard boxes, ice trays and mops that double as toys for the animals.

"We have basically toys and feeder puzzles made from cardboard tubes, boxes, bags, old mop heads..." she says.

A feeder puzzle gives animals a chance to forage for their food.

"We'll hide meal worms inside the mops and the animals will kind of file through the strings and dig through there and find all the worms and that will keep them busy for a while," she says.

But the real goal, Smithson says, is to find new uses for old materials. Seven-year-old Laci Dillard explains:

"Recycle so you don't have to throw it away and make the dumpster grow bigger.

And that, she says, is a lesson that should last all year long.

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