Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$20 adults, $15 children

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Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$20 adults, $15 children

View All Rates ›

Join Blank Park Zoo in recycling cell phones (and tablets, iPads, mp3 players) to protect gorillas, okapi and other wildlife!

Posted on October 9, 2018 at 11:18 AM by Blog Author

What do cell phones, okapi, gorillas, and recycling have in common?

Answer: Coltan and other precious metals used in cell phones, laptops, tablets, and other electronics. 

The problem: Around 80% of Coltan is mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), home to endangered great apes – bonobos and gorillas, and the “forest giraffe” – the okapi.  

Populations of these animals have plummeted in recent years and are directly linked to the expansion of mining operations for electronic devices, leading to greater habitat destruction and hunting of protected wildlife (bushmeat).

How to help? Don’t toss your gadgets or computers in the garbage!  Recycle!

An enormous amount of Coltan and other precious minerals have already been mined.  Much of this in America either ends up in the landfill or sets unused in our homes.  By recycling old electronics we can reclaim this lost material for use in a new device and lessen the demand for virgin ore to be mined.  Recycling also keeps this hazardous material out of landfills and protects our local land and water.

Blank Park Zoo partners with Ecocell to recycle the material or refurbish the device if possible.  Simply bring your old small electronic devices (phones, tablets, iPads, iPods, other mp3 players, adapters, chargers, even earbuds!) to the zoo and drop off at admissions. Devices do not need to be functional.

100% of the proceeds from donations to the program at Blank Park Zoo go to reforestation and conservation efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including the Ituri Forest and the GRACE Gorilla Sanctuary. 

Blank Park Zoo and Ecocell can’t take large items (laptops, computers), but these items are valuable for recycling as well!  Visit Metrowaste Authority to learn how to locally recycle these items. 

Note: Remove your personal data before donation (such as removing SIM card, disconnecting service, resetting to factory defaults).

Learn more about Ecocell

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