Happy World Primate Day! Join the Memphis Zoo to help save gorillas in the wild by donating your old mobile phones for recycling!
We all know there are text messages, photos, and contacts in our cell phones, but do you know what else is inside our phones? Picture the periodic table of elements from high school chemistry. Our cellphones contain over 40 different elements from 9 different families of elements! These elements are found in every part of the phone from the screen, to the case, to the battery, to the electronics inside that make it work.
Coltan is an important mineral that holds an electric charge better than any man-made metal. Colton is found in endangered gorilla habitat in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The deforestation and mining associated with coltan production has impacted and displaced gorillas, moving them closer to extinction. Recycling and extending the life of electronic devices reduces the demand for coltan mining.
With all that goes into making our cellphones, it's important that when they are too old to use any longer, we dispose of them responsibly. It's estimated that 1.5 billion smart phones are sold annually but sadly less than 10% are recycled or resold at the end of their use. That's where YOU come in!
Recycling old devices, learning about gorilla conservation through Gorillas on The Line, and telling others how they can help protect gorillas and gorilla habitat are great ways to make us think about our connection to gorillas, wildlife and our planet as a whole!
At the Memphis Zoo we have a bin located in Primate Canyon by our gorilla troop. Bring in your old cell phones and drop them in the bin to do your part in helping gorilla conservation!