Help us save gorillas ~ recycle your cell phone!
You can help us save wild gorillas by recycling your old cell phones. Simply bring your cell phone and accessories to the Guest Services Office at the entry Plaza.
Cell phones and similar gadgets is a major contributor to the demise of wild gorillas in the Congo. The ore coltan (colombite-tantalite), is a source of the element tantalum which is an essential part of cell phones. This ore is abundant in central Africa, and is frequently mined illegally in forests and national parks that are home to the endangered gorilla. Not only is mining destroying the habitat, but the animals are also being illegally hunted by the miners. This has resulted in a dramatic loss of gorillas in recent years.
Millions of computers, cell phones and other devices are discarded in America each year! There are over 260 million cell phone users (85% of the population) in the U.S. alone, with nearly 1 billion currently in retirement. It has been estimated that only 10% of unwanted cell phones are recycled each year.
By recycling your cell phones you can reduce the demand on coltan, which keeping toxic material out of our environment. Cell phones and their accessories contain a large number of hazardous substances, including antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, copper and lead) which can linger in the environment for a long time and have adverse effects on human health. Recyling cell phones also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves energy.
Help us close the loop! Zoos across the nation are collecting cell phones to be reused or recycled, in hope of reducing both pollution and the market for coltan. Utah’s Hogle Zoo has partnered with Eco-Cell to recycle cell phones; with the proceeds generated the Zoo supports gorilla conservation efforts in the Congo. Just drop them off at guest services next time you visit the Zoo.
BEFORE YOU RECYCLE YOUR CELL PHONE:
- First, make sure your phone plan has been cancelled with your carrier.
- To clear data off your phone: do a Google search - include phone make and model and type in FACTORY RESET, it is simple!
Recycling standards with our partner Eco-Cell:
- First and foremost phones are reusedresold as much as possible for consumption.
- Cell phones that we cannot resell are recycled with Access FTC. Access aggregates the material and sends it to MPC or Materials Processing Center, and ISO and R2 certified company. MPC then preps the material and sends it to UMICORE in Belgium, a certified European Electronics Recyclers Association member.
- All accessories are recycled with HOBI, International, Inc. a R2 certified business.
- Batteries that cannot be reused are sent to Access FTC. Access FTC recycles batteries with Metal Conversions Technology.
Would you like to get your school, church or another community organization involved? Contact the Zoo’s Conservation Coordinator to set up a free collection box and for more information.