A novel approach of preparing high performance electrodes for supercapacitors was demonstrated by pyrolyzing the hierarchical composite prepared from organic waste and biological resources. Sponge waste was utilized as a carbon source for preparing the interconnected structured electrode materials with high porosity, and needle-like ZnO particles were directly grown on the sponge in order to effectively capture bacteria cells as well as improve the overall redox reactions. The bacteria (E. coli 0157: H7) were isolated on a ZnO/sponge composite to endow electrochemically beneficial inherent nitrogen existing in bacteria, as well as to provide bio-templates with the aids of these structural and material benefits, the carbonized material prepared from the bacteria loaded on the ZnO/sponge composite showed a significantly enhanced specific capacitance of 133 F g(-1) (at 0.2 A g(-1)) and an excellent cycle retention of 89% over long-term cycles (5000 cycles). Our strategy of utilizing recyclable and biomass-derived materials not only can effectively improve the electrochemical performances of supercapacitors but also open an innovative way to address the systemic issues underlying the carbonaceous materials used in supercapacitors. (C) 2019 The Korean Society of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.