Saving Gorillas

Recycle a cell phone – save a gorilla.  It’s that simple.


As we continue to advance our phone technology, cell phone users rapidly replace their old models with newer ones.  But, what do you do with your old phone?  Recycle it with Project Saving Species

By recycling your cell phone you are preventing the large number of hazardous substances from entering our environment.  Metals such as antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, copper and lead, which can linger in the environment for a long time and have adverse effects on human health can be recycled or disposed of properly.  In addition, by recycling coltan, a mineral mined in gorilla habitat, you are helping gorillas maintain a future in the wild.

Answer the Call and help the Cincinnati Zoo become the number one zoo in North America recycling cell phones!

For more information on how to get your school, business, organization, church, or non-profit involved contact [email protected].


Why Recycle a Phone?

  • There are more than 270 million cellular users in the United States alone and 4.1 billion worldwide. On average a person in the U.S. buys a new cell phone every 18 months. Less than 1% of the millions of cell phones retired and discarded annually are recycled.
  • Cell phones contain lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic, all are considered hazardous waste if sent to landfills where they can leach into the soil and groundwater.
  • Cell phones also contain an ore called Coltan, which is mined in endangered gorilla habitat in Africa. Loss of habitat and hunting are serious threats to the gorillas future. Reducing the demand for Coltan will help save these animals and their habitat.


  • Eco-Cell donates the phones for emergency purposes upon request. All unusable cell phones are recycled under strict EPA guidelines by certified recyclers.*The Zoo partners with ECO-CELL, a Louisville-based company, to recycle old cell phones.