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Electronics are connected to apes via an ore called Coltan (columbite-tantalite\tantalum).  Tantalum coats the capacitors inside gadgets which makes them energy efficient. This ore is found in great quantity in the Congo, home to the critically endangered gorilla and chimpanzee. These species are being killed by rebel bands mining Coltan. The U.N. has reported that in the past five years the eastern lowland gorilla population in the Congo has declined 90%. Recycling your cell phones with ECO-CELL helps save these animals by reducing the demand for Coltan and by providing funds for our partners who are actively engaged in protecting these species.


"Eco-Cell collected 21,000 phones last year and hopes to triple that figure this year.

The phones are sold in bulk to a handful of refurbishing companies that in turn resell the handsets in developing markets, such as Africa and Latin America. Eco-Cell started in 2002 but began honing in on zoos in 2005. The proceeds it makes from selling the phones go to supporting various conservation groups, primarily zoos."



"When we heard of ECO-CELL we were like-that is a no brainer to collaborate with that program. Here we are talking about Coltan and now we can give people a tangible to help gorillas directly through recycling cell phones." -Ron Evans, Louisville Zoo


This year, 5.3 billion mobile phones will be thrown away the international waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) forum says. Its estimate, based on global trade data, highlights the growing environmental problem of "e-waste".

Many people keep old phones, rather than recycling them, research suggests. Precious minerals not extracted from waste electronics, such as the copper in wire or the cobalt in rechargeable batteries, have to be mined.


Over 1 Million Phones Recycled.

5 billion phones become waste annually.

$1 Million donated to Gorilla Conservation.

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