Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recycle Your Old Cell Phone and Other Electronics at the Zoo

Now there's a new place to drop off your old cell phones, MP3 players and other electronics at the Zoo. A new receptacle at the Great Ape House invites visitors to drop off old electronics.

Jump-start your spring cleaning by bringing in all of your old cell phones, cell phone accessories, iPods and MP3 players, handheld game systems, GPS handheld units, laptops, e-readers and portable hard drives to the Zoo, and invite your friends, family, and other visitors to do the same. Items can be dropped off in the receptacle at the Great Ape House or at the Information Desk at the Visitor Center.

By recycling your personal electronics at the Zoo you help in four ways:
  • You help preserve the environment  Cell phones and other electronics contain a variety of metals and chemicals that should not be placed in landfills. Recycling phones allows these items to be disposed of properly. Donated phones may also be refurbished. 
  • You help those in need of phones. Refurbished phones are provided to people who need phones for emergencies but who are unable to afford one.
  • You support the National Zoo. When you drop off cell phones and other electronics in this bin or at the Visitor Center, FONZ sends them to our partner ECO-CELL to be safely recycled or refurbished. FONZ then receives money for these items that is used to support conservation efforts around the Zoo.
  • You protect gorillas and their habitats. Large deposits of coltan, a metallic ore used in cell phones and other electronics, are found in areas of Africa that are home to gorillas. There has been a dramatic rise in poaching gorillas for bushmeat as part of the rush to mine this coltan. Phones donated here are either safely recycled or refurbished and then sold or donated back into the market. This lessens the demand for new coltan to be mined and lessens the impact on gorillas and other wildlife.

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