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They're Calling on You
Your school, workplace or community group can help us save gorillas by collecting old mobile phones. It's easy and free to join us
1. Simply register your organisation and use our materials and resources to set up your phone drive.
2. Each time you collect 10 or more phones you can get a FREE courier pick-up from anywhere in Australia.
Since October 2008 They're Calling on You has collected more than 164,000 and raised more than $271,000 for conservation.
Funds raised through the recyclng of phone mobile phones are donated to support Zoos Victoria and our conservation partners, Gorilla Doctors, who provide life-saving medical care to fragile wild gorilla populations in Africa.
Have any questions? Email email@example.com or call (03) 9340 2726
Individual phones can be dropped off at Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary or at any public drop-off locations on the map below.
Why has Zoos Victoria developed a mobile phone recycling program?
The program provides people with the opportunity to join Zoos Victoria and the Gorilla Doctors to conserve Africa’s primate species, simply by donating unused mobile phones. The program aims to raise awareness of coltan mining crisis, while exposing the link between mobile phones and primate species in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
What does the program hope to achieve?
The program contributes to wildlife conservation by:
- Lessening the demand for coltan mining in gorilla habitat
- Helping Zoos Victoria raise money to support primate conservation
- Diverting phones from landfill. Phones are refurbished and resold
What is coltan?
Coltan, short for columbite tantalite, is a rare and valuable metal in huge demand in today's high technology industries. It is used within many electronic devices such as mobile phones.
More than 6 billion people around the world currently use mobile phones (2013 U.N. report) and that figure is growing daily as devices upgrade and become more accessible for everyone to own.
How does coltan mining impact gorillas?
As pristine forest is cut down for mining of coltan, roads are paved to expose the once protected gorilla populations. Wildlife trade, bush meat, competition for land and diseases are all a threat to gorillas in the wild. Gorilla Doctors ensure the health and survival of Mountain and Eastern Lowland (Grauer's) Gorillas through veterinary and human health initiatives.
What happens to money raised through the program?
PhoneCycle donates a portion of the proceeds generated through the resale of refurbished mobile phones to Zoos Victoria. 50% of this donation supports Zoos Victoria’s conservation work, the remaining 50% is donated to the Gorilla Doctors to support their in-situ conservation work in Africa.
What happens to the phones I send in?
PhoneCycle reduces the environmental impact of mobile phones by diverting them from landfill and, wherever possible, extending their working life.
The priority is to reuse mobile phones as it reduces the need for raw materials and energy to manufacture new products. If mobile phones or their parts cannot be reused then over 95% of their materials can be recycled. Phones are recycled in Australia or on-sold for reuse both in Australia and overseas.
How is this recycling program different to others?
Phones donated through They're Calling On You raises much needed funds for primate conservation in Africa while also diverting phones from landfill through refurbishment. If a phone is not fit to be refurbished, over 90% of the devices components are recycled.
Are there alternatives to coltan?
A more expensive, synthetic alternative is currently available. However Zoos Victoria has been unable to obtain information outlining the environmental impacts of the production of this synthetic material. We therefore encourage people to take action against this issue by donating old mobile phones to the They’re Calling on You mobile phone recycling program to ensure that the coltan currently in our old phones does not go to waste.
Does Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo have the Eastern Lowland (Grauer's) Gorilla?
No. Our ex-situ conservation work is currently focused on the Western Lowland Gorilla as this is the species in our care. The gorillas in our zoo are ambassadors for their wild cousins, including both Mountain Gorillas and Eastern Lowland (Grauer's) Gorillas.
Can I donate anything other than mobile phones to this program?
We accept smart phones and older mobile phones, and tablet devices in any condition. Mobile phone accessories such as headphones and chargers, and small electronic items such as iPods or digital cameras can also be included for recycling.
What do I need to do before sending my phone in?
If your mobile device has a removable battery, please leave it inside the handset when handing it in.
You should try to remove any personal information on your device before donating it. This can be done by going into your device’s settings and selecting the option to erase or reset the device.
If you are sending any Apple devices that use iOS7 software or above please make sure that you remove your iCloud account from your device and turn off the Find My iPhone application before handing it in. There will be no donation value for devices that are activation locked but will still accept them for recycling and reuse as part of the service. For more information on removing iCloud accounts, please visit:
How to clear iPhone data http://support.apple.com/en-us/ht5661
How to turn off Find my Phone http://support.apple.com/en-us/ts4515
One of the biggest threats to gorillas is the illegal mining of coltan, a mineral used in mobile phones.
You can help protect gorillas in their natural habitat simply by donating your old phone:
- Money raised from donated phones will support Gorilla Doctors, an organisation working to protect Eastern Lowland (Grauer's) and Mountain Gorillas in the wild.
- Donated phones will be refurbished and resold or recycled for their parts. This gives the phones or their components a second life and also helps prevent phones entering landfill.
Since 2008 Zoos Victoria's visitors have contributed to:
Phones saved from landfill
Raised for primate conservation
How can I help?
Start a phone collection today.
Have 10 or more phones ready to go?
+ We accept all mobile phones, smart phones, tablets and associated accessories in any condition
+ We take data security seriously. Full data clearing services can be arranged for free when booking your courier.