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Answer the Call of the Wild and Recycle Your Phone

Clean out those junk drawers, rummage through your closets and recycle your unused handheld electronics like cell phones to help SAVE animals in the wild!

What is the connection between animals and handheld electronics like cell phones?

Cell phones and other handheld electronic devices contain a material called tantalum that is derived from the mineral Col-Tan (columbite-tantalite).  Coltan is destructively mined in central Africa, which happens to be where animals like chimpanzees, gorillas, mandrills and okapi live.

When the metal is taken from these animal habitats, their homes become disrupted and these animal populations, as well as other plants and animals species in the same habitat, decrease.

Love your Locals

Cell phones and their accessories contain a large number of hazardous substances and toxic materials. These toxins include arsenic, beryllium, cadmium and lead. When thrown away, these electronics make their way to landfills where these contaminates can leach into the ground and waterways contaminating natural resources and polluting wildlife habitat.


The derived mineral tantulum is taken from places where animals like chimpanzees and gorillas live to be used in our electronics, especially cell phones.

What can YOU do to help?

It is simple! Recycle your unused handheld electronic devices.

Electronic Devices We Recycle

The Houston Zoo recycles cell phones and other handheld electronic devices to help save animals in the wild.

By recycling cell phones, YOU can help animals like gorillas, chimpanzees, mandrills and okapis by reducing the demand for new materials to be mined.

 How to Recycle with the Houston Zoo?

Drop off your unused handheld electronics on your next visit.
The collection box is located at the main entrance of the Zoo next to Guest Relations.

OR Mail them in.
Please address to:
Houston Zoo
c/o Electronic Device Recycling Leader
1513 Cambridge St.
Houston, Texas 77030

Our Global Partners

Conservation Heritage-Turambe
Gorilla Doctors
GRACE: Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center
Jane Goodall Institute
Okapi Conservation Project

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cell phone recycling?
Is it safe to donate?
What is Eco-Cell?
Where are the funds donated?

Recycled your cell phone, but want to do more?

Action for Apes Banner
The Action for Apes Challenge is an annual contest hosted by the Houston Zoo to see which school, community organization or business can collect and recycle the most cell phones during the challenge period.  The challenge is February 1 – APE-ril 30.


Adopt a gorilla at the Houston Zoo to also help protect these animals and their habitats.

Questions? Contact