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Gorillas on the Line

MCZ’s gorilla, Hodari
MCZ’s gorilla, Hodari

Due to the national health emergency, the Milwaukee County Zoo will be closed until further notice. During the closure, our 2020 Gorillas on the Line electronics recycling campaign is on hold – please do not bring any devices to the Zoo.

Once the Zoo reopens, we will share updated information about the 2020 campaign.

This spring, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is again hosting Gorillas on the Line, a cell phone collection drive to benefit gorilla conservation. The AZA Gorilla SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) Program is coordinating the initiative in conjunction with Eco-CELL, and the Milwaukee County Zoo is participating!

In 2019, Gorillas on the Line participants worked with 21 zoos to recycle over 12,000 devices. The campaign goals for 2020 are to engage people in gorilla conservation and raise funds to help conserve wild gorillas by collecting 20,000 cell phones and other handheld devices for recycling.

Collection Drive – FAST FACTS

WHAT can we recycle through this collection?

Handheld electronic devices, such as cell phones, digital music players, GPS units, gaming devices, and tablets.

MCZ’s gorilla, Maji
MCZ’s gorilla, Maji

WHY should we recycle these devices?

These handheld devices contain coltan, a mineral mined in gorilla habitats in Africa. Recycling these devices and reusing the metals reduces the need to mine for coltan, thereby helping preserve the habitats. Phones recycled through Gorillas on the Line will also generate funds for gorilla conservation.

Here at home, recycling these devices keeps them out of landfills. This protects the quality of our local habitats and water supply.

WHO can host a collection?

Besides the Zoo; any school, business, or group who wants to participate can host a collection. Simply designate a site coordinator and have them contact Kari Williams for details.

Cell phone drop box
Cell phone drop box

WHEN is this happening?

It runs from February 1 through April 30, 2020.

WHERE should we bring old phones to be recycled?

Individuals can bring their phones to the Zoo; you can leave them with staff at the Entrance Gates or put them in the collection bin in the U.S. Bank Gathering Place. Phones submitted during the drive will be included in this challenge.

Schools, businesses and organizations who choose to participate can host a collection at their own site, and ship collected devices directly to Eco-CELL at the end of April.

HOW can YOU help?

Talk to your friends and family and encourage them to recycle any old handheld devices they have. And offer to bring those phones to the Zoo with you!

If you have a contact that you believe would be willing to host a collection, email Kari Williams to discuss.

The Milwaukee County Zoo would like to thank you, in advance, for answering the call!

This nationwide campaign is being led by the Gorilla SAFE program and the Gorilla Species Survival Plan®. You can recycle your mobile phone at the Milwaukee County Zoo every day of the year, but only those submitted between February 1 and April 30 will count for this campaign.