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Cell Phone Recycling at the Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo provides 100% landfill free cell phone recycling services to individual schools, community groups, corporate environments and many other partners across Ontario.

The Toronto Zoo has provided cell phone recycling services since 2006. Our program was awarded top honors among North American zoos, aquaria and wildlife organizations in 2007 and 2009. The Toronto Zoo remains the most trusted cell phone recycler in the Greater Toronto Area & throughout Ontario.

Answer the call of the wild and recycle your cell phones with Phone Apes and the Toronto Zoo

  1. Drop phones off on your next Toronto Zoo visit!

    On site drop off locations:
    • Guest Services, front entrance
    • Gorilla exhibit, African Rainforest Pavilion
    • Education/volunteer centre
    • Administrative Building -361A Old Finch Avenue

    Off site drop off partners:
    • Bowmanville Zoo

  2. Mail phones to:
    Toronto Zoo - Cell Phone Recycling Program C/O Curator of Conservation Programs 361A Old Finch Avenue Toronto, Ontario M1B 5K7

  3. Email us for other arrangements

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Cell Phone Recycling

Cell phone recycling encourages responsible waste management of electronic materials. The e-waste sector is growing rapidly and the impacts include illegal and irresponsible mining, landfill restrictions and overuse, health problems in developing countries. Recycling of cell phones, and other small electronic devices helps reclaim valuable metals and reduces environmental social impacts.

How does cell phone recycling help conserve Gorillas and their habitats?

Coltan is a metallic ore used to produce the element tantalum. Tantalum, used in a light weight metal powder form, is able to hold a very high electrical charge. This makes it a vital element in creating the capacitors that control electric flow inside miniature circuit boards. Tantalum capacitors are used in almost all cell phones, laptops, pagers and other electronic devices.

Coltan is most concentrated, and therefore most easily mined, in the rainforests of the former Republic of the Congo. Unfortunately, the endangered Lowland Gorilla also calls this spot home. By recycling old cell phones, tantalum can be re-used; lessening the demand to mine pure coltan in the Congo.

What happens to the other metals in the phone?

All base elements, including arsenic and mercury, are refined out and reused. Everything else is disposed of by FCM. They are one of the global leaders in sustainable development and corporate stewardship.

Is it safe to donate my phone?

YES! Please remember to discontinue all service plans and wipe off all personal data! We provide 100% confidentiality and remove any data remaining on the phone.

Where are funds donated?

In 2011, all money raised will go towards the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project: Securing the Future of Gorillas and Chimpanzees in a Changing Landscape. Click here for details (PDF).

How many phones has the Toronto Zoo collected?

The Toronto Zoo has collected 20,787 phones between 2007 and November 2012

How do I get my own collection box?

We will provide your Ontario-based classroom, school, company or organization with your very own Phone Apes cell phone collection box & marketing material. Simply send us a request to

Other ways you can help protect gorillas and their habitat:

Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums/Association des zoos et aquariums du Canada Find us on Facebook City of Toronto