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
    • Education/volunteer centre
    • Administrative Building -361A Old Finch Avenue

  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 and parts of the phone?

All base elements, including arsenic and mercury, are refined out and reused. GEEP has refined the recycling process to refine and separate material into fractions of ferrous, non-ferrous, precious metals and plastic commodities that are returned to the commodities market for reuse. They are one of the global leaders in sustainable development and corporate stewardship.

Is my phone being recycled responsibly?

YES! The Toronto Zoo is serious about global protection of the environment, human impact and the socio-economic impact of e-waste disposal. The local GEEP location which processes all PhoneApes collected phones are certified to the highest standards for operational and recycling excellence including R2-Responsible Recycling Practices, ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001, ERRP and RQP and is an approved vendor through Ontario Electronic Stewardship. To review GEEP certificate status please visit http://www.geepglobal.com/about/certifications-and-awards/

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?

All money raised will go towards the field conservation for Great Apes. Projects supported by the PhoneApes program have included: Goualougo Triangle Ape Project: Securing the Future of Gorillas and Chimpanzees in a Changing Landscape. Ape Action Africa: Mefou National Park, Mbeli Bai Gorilla Study, Nouabale-Ndoki Forest Reserve, Republic of Congo.

How many phones has the Toronto Zoo collected?

The Toronto Zoo has collected 23,871 phones between 2007 and July 2014

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 phoneapes@torontozoo.ca

Other ways you can help protect gorillas and their habitat: