Cincinnati Zoo Teams up with The Gorilla Glue Company for Go Bananas! Challenge

Posted September 2, 2015

Children across the Country Answer the Call
Help Save Gorillas and Win $5,000   


CINCINNATI, OH  – The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Project Saving Species, The Gorilla Glue Company and Eco-Cell have teamed up for the fifth  year in a row to promote a national competition called the Go Bananas! Challenge which has already taken off! The competition challenges school and community youth groups across the country to Answer the Call and create campaigns to collect and recycle cell phones to help save gorillas.

Cell phones contain an ore called coltan. One of the only places in the world where this ore can be found is in the Democratic Republic of Congo – right in the middle of gorilla habitat. As a direct result of mining for coltan, the world’s gorilla population is losing its habitat, being displaced and being killed by poachers.  And the simple act of recycling a cell phone can make a difference, by reducing the need to mine for coltan.

The group that collects the most cell phones will be awarded the grand prize of $4,000 and the group with the most creative campaign (via a People’s Choice Vote) will win $1,000! Signing up is easy – join the challenge online by visiting and start thinking about a creative campaign. The contest ends April 2, 2015 and the winning group will be announced on April 24, 2015.  Every group that signs up receives a welcome gift box courtesy of The Gorilla Glue Company and any group that collects 300 or more cell phones will receive a one-of-a-kind painting created by one of the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorillas.

“This is a fun way for children to get involved in their world and do something that has a direct impact on a global scale,” said David Jenike, chief operating officer at the Cincinnati Zoo. “If we’re going to set out to save the planet, we have to get the youth of this country involved and it needs to start at an early age.”

“The gorilla is a symbol of strength and the central component of our company’s brand. This program is an excellent opportunity to help save precious natural resources and make an impact,” states Peter Ragland, president of the The Gorilla Glue Company. “We are proud to partner with the Cincinnati Zoo and support this important cause.”

There currently are more than 327 million cell phones being used in the United States alone and 6.8 billion cell phones being used worldwide. The average lifespan of a cell phone in the United States is 18 months. Of these old cell phones that are no longer in use, only about fourteen percent are recycled. Cell phones also contain lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic, which are hazardous waste and if sent to landfills they can filter into the soil and groundwater.

From the 2014-2015 challenge, the Cincinnati Zoo recycled 13,061 cell phones and kept 1,865 pounds of accessories and 326 pounds of batteries out of the landfill. The Go Bananas! Challenge will help the Cincinnati Zoo save gorilla habitats and give money back to conservation projects around the world.  Help us get that number over 20,000 and raise money for your school or scout group!

For more information about the Cincinnati Zoo’s Project Saving Species cell phone recycling program and the Go Bananas! Challenge, please log onto