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Western Lowland Gorilla

Calling all Conservationists: Donate your Cell Phone to Help Gorillas

Did you know that less than 1% of cell phones are recycled? That's a lot, considering that approximately 95% of Americans own a cell phone! 

 

Many of us have old phones lying around our house that we don’t even use. These phones contain coltan, which is a material mined from the western lowland gorilla's natural habitat. When recycled, old electronics and chargers can have a major impact on the lives of gorillas. Hang up on deforestation by dropping off your used electronics in Franklin Park Zoo's Eco-Cell box! See below for more details.

 

What is coltan? 

Coltan is an ore used in cell phones to retain battery. Much of the world’s coltan supply is found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is also where endangered gorillas live.

Because of the major cell phone demand, the Congo’s coltan mining business has increased rapidly in recent years. This has led to dramatic destruction of the natural habitat of great apes and has brought the species closer to extinction.

How can you help?

Franklin Park Zoo has teamed up with Eco-Cell, a company that partners with zoos across the country, to collect your recycled cell phones and refurbish them for reuse. This reduces the need for more coltan, leads to less mining and destruction of habitat, and helps the gorillas!

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What to recycle

  • Cell phones
  • Smartphones
  • iPods/ iPads
  • Tablets
  • Adapters
  • Chargers
  • Earbuds
  • MP3 players

Where to recycle

Visit the gorilla exhibit in Franklin Park Zoo's Tropical Forest, where you'll see a large Eco-Cell collection box in which you can drop off any used electronics listed above. Feel free to email us with questions.

Image credit: Zoo Atlanta