Gorillas Need Our Cell Phones


Courtesy of Louisville Zoo.

Liana Brooks, Visual Editor

ECO-Cell wants to collect old electronics like cell phones and take the harmful minerals out of them to make brand new ones.

ECO-Cell is a small family business that was founded in 2003 by former realtor Eric Ronay of Louisville, Kentucky. ECO-Cell’s goal is to help save gorillas and their habitat by recycling your electronic devices.

How will recycling help gorillas? Well, most gorilla habitats are in central Africa, which is also the location of a mineral called coltan. Coltan is considered a “conflict mineral,” a term that refers to minerals sold for profit that will directly or indirectly benefit armed groups in conflict zones. Coltan is used in the manufacture of cell phones and other devices. Reclaiming it instead of throwing it away means less mining in gorilla habitats, and perhaps less human violence.

ECO-Cell has many drop-off areas, including at most zoos. It is a business that is 100% for the environment, so please do your part and reuse, reduce and recycle. While ECO-Cell’s program is not geared toward individual buybacks–only toward groups carrying out larger recycling projects–if you would like to donate one of your old devices, contact the company and they will be happy to accept your donation. The company does not care if your device is locked or broken. 

A list of gadgets ECO-Cell recycles:

  • cell phones
  • smartphones
  • iPhones
  • iPods
  • iPads
  • tablets
  • Apple\Android watches
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • MP3 players
  • e-readers
  • digital cameras
  • handheld gaming systems and the accessories that come with them

Learn more at ECO-Cell.com.