FREMONT – If you have old cell phones or handheld electronics sitting around at home, you’re sitting on a quick and easy way to help save an endangered species.
Inside these electronic devices is a special, rare and valuable mineral called coltan. About 80% of the world’s supply of this metal is mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is also the last remaining home of the critically endangered Eastern Lowland Gorilla. In order to reach this rare mineral, trees are cut down and earth is dug up, destroying gorilla habitat in the process.
Keene Memorial Library is proud to partner with Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and other zoos across the nation to collect and recycle old cell phones and other small electronic devices. The library is providing a local spot to drop off such devices right here in Fremont.
The phones & other items will be collected at the Keene Memorial Library drop site from February 13 to April 26 before being sent to the zoo, who will then ship all donated items to a coltan recycling initiative called Eco-Cell.
Old cell phones, smartphones, iPods, iPads, tablets, adapters, chargers, MP3 players, handheld gaming systems and the accessories that come with are being accepted. By taking the small step of recycling old electronics, the public can help protect gorilla habitat in Africa by reducing the need for coltan.
Nationwide, the project hopes to collect at least 10,000 phones and electronics for recycling.