Gorillas on the Line … Answer the Call!

Dates Updated! Now through September 30, 2020

The Louisville Zoo and The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International are working together with Eco-Cell to recycle cell phones, help the environment, and raise money for gorilla conservation as part of Gorillas on the Line. Forty Zoos and aquariums across the continent will be collecting mobile phones for gorilla conservation.

Our goal: 200,000 people engaged in gorilla conservation + 20,000 mobile phones recycled. Working together, we definitely can do it!

Why are we collecting cell phones for gorillas?
 A critical component of cell phones and other small electronics is the mineral coltan. One of the few places where coltan is found is the forests of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo — right in the middle of gorilla habitat. As a result of coltan mining, critical habitat has been destroyed and gorillas have been displaced or even killed by poachers. Recycling old cell phones helps reduce the demand for coltan and protects gorilla habitat in Africa.

What do we accept?
ANY kind of cell phone will be accepted — even the big, heavy ones from years ago that wouldn’t come close to fitting in your pocket now. You may also donate handheld electronic devices such as digital music players, GPS units, gaming devices, tablets and handheld gaming systems.

How to Participate

For JCPS Schools 

    1. Answer the call! Register your class to participate. After registering you will receive an email with further details. Your group’s campaign can be as simple as setting out a cardboard box in the hallway for collecting old devices or as involved as creating posters, running activities, and offering incentives to drive donations. It’s your choice.
    2. Recycle those phones! Collect as many phones for recycling as possible through September 24, 2020. The Zoo will work with you to submit your phones to be officially tallied and then recycled. Teams collecting the most old cell phones for recycling will be announced after all submissions have been reviewed. The three teams who collect the most will win a field trip for up to 120 students.
    3. See our video below to learn more and share it with your students!

For individuals

Simply drop your cell phone off in the Eco-cell box located on the Zoo’s main plaza before April 30, 2020!

Making a Difference

Last year, the Louisville Zoo came in 5th overall for cell phone recycling! Over 260,000 people were engaged in the campaign nationally, collecting 12,486 devices that were recycled.  It’s going to take all of us to save gorillas from extinction. We are so excited to have you on board. Thanks again from all of us at the Louisville Zoo.

ECO-Cell does not clear cell phones of data or content left on phones. It is the responsibility of the donating party to cancel or switch service on the phone and to delete any data such as phone numbers, text messages, pictures, emails, documents, etc. that might be on the cell phone.

ECO-Cell sends donated phones to refurbishing companies who often delete any content left on phones, but Eco-Cell cannot guarantee that content will always be deleted. Therefore it is Eco-Cell’s position and recommendation that those wishing to donate a phone take the time to clear phone of all data to ensure maximum privacy.