Melbourne Girls College have developed a very novel project to engage and encourage students at their school to donate old mobile phones.
At Melbourne Zoo, students are introduced to the Western Lowland Gorillas who are ambassadors for their Eastern Lowland cousins found in the wild in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is a place rich in natural resources, including coltan, which is used in electronic devices such as mobile phones. The mining of this metal is contributing to the severe decline of gorilla numbers in the wild.
During the education session students are encouraged to make connections between their local actions and the global issue of habitat destruction in the DRC and are set the challenge to reduce their impact on gorillas by collecting mobile phones for recycling.
Melbourne Girls College were involved in another mobile phone recycling program when the student committee decided to change to They're Calling on You. This change was prompted by the zoo campaign having a clearer and more tangible outcome for students of saving gorillas as opposed to being asked again to 'recycle for the environment'.