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Gorillas on the Line partners

Donate your Cell Phone to Help Gorillas

Recycling your phone helps protect animals like gorillas, whose habitats are impacted by the mining of minerals used in small electronics. We participate with zoos and aquariums across the globe in the “Gorillas on the Line” mobile phone recycling challenge to help save gorillas in the wild.

Donate your electronic device at Franklin Park Zoo or Stone Zoo any time we're open, or better yet, start your own collection drive! We’ll work with your group, class, team, organization or workplace to make a meaningful impact together.

"Getting Started" Toolkit


Steps for starting your own cell phone collection drive:

  1. Register below. Once registered, we'll reach out with materials, assistance and motivation when you need it.
  2. Design a collection box, distribute flyers, or create social media posts to promote your conservation efforts. See below for downloadable printables.
  3. Start collecting! 
  4. When your box is filled, send us the box weight and return address. Our recycling partner, Eco-Cell, will provide a free shipping label to send phones directly to them. You can also drop off donations at Franklin Park Zoo or Stone Zoo any time we're open.

What to Recycle

  • Cell phones and cell phone batteries
  • Smart phones
  • iPads
  • iPod
  • Tablets
  • Apple watches
  • Adapters
  • Chargers
  • MP3 players
  • Handheld gaming systems and their accessories

NOT accepted:

Laptops!

Large electronic devices such as desktop computers, monitors, laptops, laptop batteries, game consuls, televisions, and calculators are NOT accepted for the campaign. However, these electronics also contain coltan, and we highly recommend you recycle them properly. Here in Boston, the city holds "Household Hazardous Waste" drop-off days, or you can contact the city for a "Special Collection" pickup at your home. Many electronic stores like Apple, Best Buy, and Staples are often able to accept them for recycling. Call your local store to find out more.

Designs for your Collection Box and Social Media

Provided here are downloadable graphics to include on your box, but feel free to get creative and add your own personal touches!

  • Full sheet (8.5x11") infographic for top of box
  • Full sheet (8.5 x11") photos for sides of box
  • 1/2 sheet (8.5x5.5") Gorillas on the Line graphics for sides of box
  • 1/2 sheet (8.5x5.5") Zoo New England logo for sides of box
Printable Designs Social Media Graphics

How Cell Phones Impact Gorillas

coltan infographic

Cell phones contain coltan, a mineral mined from the western lowland gorilla's natural habitat. 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, bringing this species closer to extinction. We urge you to extend the life of your cell phone by committing to using it a few years longer, and recycling it when you upgrade. When recycled, old electronics and chargers can have a major impact on the lives of gorillas!

What your Donation Supports

All proceeds from donated devices support the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' "Gorilla SAFE" initiative. SAFE is a commitment by the Association's accredited zoos and aquariums to harness our collective resources, focus on specific endangered species, and save them from extinction by restoring healthy populations in the wild. In our Gorilla SAFE partnership, we work with the Wildlife Conservation Society to support Cross-River gorilla conservation at the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary.

FAQs

Is there a weight or size limit to the boxes?

The maximum recommended shipping weight is 50 pounds, so you want to make sure your boxes aren't too big. We've found that the ideal box size is between 12"x12"x12" and 18" x 18" x 18". Many office supply stores like Office Depot and Staples often carry this size shipping box. Call your local store to find out more.

What devices can I recycle?

Our recycling partner, Eco-Cell, accepts cell phones, smart phones, iPads, iPod, tablets, Apple watches, adapters, chargers, MP3 players, handheld gaming systems and their accessories for recycling.

What condition do my devices have to be in to be accepted for recycling?

Devices can be in any condition. From big, heavy phones to ones with cracked screens that no longer work, we'll recycle them all!

I have an old laptop that no longer works. Can I recycle that as part of the campaign?

Large electronic devices such as desktop computers, monitors, laptops, game consuls, televisions, and calculators are NOT accepted for the campaign. However, these electronics also contain coltan, and we highly recommend you recycle them properly.

Here in Boston, the city holds "Household Hazardous Waste" drop-off days, or you can contact the city for a "Special Collection" pickup at your home.

Many electronic stores like Apple, Best Buy, and Staples are often able to accept them for recycling. Call your local store to find out more.

What should I do with my devices before recycling them?

Before recycling your devices, we suggest backing up your devices and saving any data you might want to keep (contacts, photos, etc.), resetting the device to factory settings, and removing the case and/or screen protector. 

Will you erase the data from my phone?

Neither Zoo New England nor Eco-Cell will clear data from your device. It is highly recommended that you clear data from your devices before sending them in for recycling. 

Who is your recycling partner, Eco-Cell?

Founded in 2003, Eco-Cell is a small, family owned and operated business in Louisville Kentucky that is focused on the environment. Eco-Cell aims to reuse the device first, and recycle second. Once a device is determined to be "end of life," it is recycled properly with certified smelting and reclamation firms. Visit their website to learn more.

Questions? Email savegorillas@zoonewengland.org.

 

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