Texas Disposal Systems Pairs Waste Management with Exotic Animal Conservation
Have you ever considered a waste management company would work in tandem with an exotic animal ranch? At Texas Disposal Systems, the Gregory family has provided a platform for the two to go hand in hand.
“Our primary business is the commercial garbage business,” says Justin Gregory, Director of Wildlife at Texas Disposal Systems. “We are a privately owned, fully integrated waste facility that takes in 3,500-4,000 tons of waste each day, six days a week. Since we have a landfill we need an industrialized fence, but we didn’t want miles of chain-link fencing. We started considering other options and found we could use an 8-foot-tall game fence as our perimeter.”
“As a family, we have always loved the outdoors and wildlife, so we decided to put the game fence up and add animals to the property,” Gregory continues. “We started with Texas Longhorn, buffalo, blackbuck antelope, axis deer, fallow deer, and slowly continued adding animals.”
Today, the ranch is home to roughly 115 species of mammals, birds and primates. Some of the species that call Texas Disposal System’s exotic ranch home include white rhino, reticulated giraffe, Grévy’s zebra, red kangaroo, toco toucan, hyacinth macaw, ring-tailed lemurs and vervet monkeys.
Gregory explains that the waste from cleaning pens and yards comes full circle in their compost facility. The products from composting are used daily to improve grasses, repair roads and landscape the facility.
“Within approximately six weeks of dumping a load of animal waste into compost, it has been processed and mixed with other products to become a reusable product,” explains Gregory. “We also have a tree farm that utilizes this compost to grow different trees and plants. We use these as browse for some of our pickier eaters, like the giraffe and black rhino.”
The wide-open fields of the ranch are just one aspect of each animal’s nutrition management plan at the ranch. Each week, an order of complete feed and supplements is delivered to the ranch.
“We feed about 35 different Mazuri® products to many of our species that have individualized diets,” explains Gregory. “Some of those products include: a Mazuri custom hoofstock product, Mazuri Browser Rhino Diet Cube and Mazuri ZuLife Soft-Bill Diet.”
Conserving the environment with endangered species
“Soon after starting the ranch, we realized we wanted to do more than raising a bunch of animals for folks to look at,” Gregory says. “We wanted to help make a difference in the lives and possible existence of some of these endangered species.”
Gregory and his family work with several endangered species and partner with groups to help repopulate them in countries where some have become extinct. For instance, they joined up with the International Rhino Foundation to create a breeding facility at their ranch for Southern Black Rhinos.
“I had the opportunity to go to South Africa in September of 2015 with a group of folks working to bring white rhinos to large acreage facilities in Texas where they would be able to live and breed,” explains Gregory. “The goal is to breed the rhinos as they have for centuries in the wild, but without the risk of poachers decimating the herds. The hope is to one day send them back to South Africa.”
“We feel blessed to provide for so many beautiful animals,” says Gregory. “By giving them the best diet and care, we do our part to help them breed and thrive in the most natural setting we can safely provide them.”
To learn more about Texas Disposal Systems, visit texasdisposal.com.