What do gorillas and ancient cell phones have in common? They’re both part of an innovative recycling effort by the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS). In honor of America Recycles Day (11/15), the DZS is collecting electronics and offering a reward of free zoo admission. The aim: reduce the electronic waste that ends up in landfills.
Here are the details: Drop off your spent electronics, from noon to 6 p.m. on November 15 and 16 at the Water Tower parking lot on the north side of the Detroit Zoo parking structure. The DZS will accept devices large and small, including printers, non-tube televisions, computers, wire, DVD and VHS players, batteries, radios and phones. Each driver who brings electronic waste will receive a voucher for one free admission to the Detroit Zoo. Coordinate a drop-off with multiple households and your vehicle’s hefty load of recyclable electronics can earn you two vouchers.
“Technology offers opportunities for a higher quality of life, but many practices to extract materials, manufacture the products and dispose of them at the end of life are devastating habitats,” says Andy McDowell, DZS manager of sustainability. “By recycling electronic waste, community members can make a meaningful impact toward reducing these destructive effects.”
Here’s where the gorillas come in: Recycling electronic waste allows for the reuse of coltan, a mineral that is found in personal devices such as laptops, tablets and cell phones. Coltan is mined from areas where endangered gorillas live. When electronic waste is recycled, it helps reduce the demand for coltan and protects gorilla habitats in Africa.
To allow the DZS to prepare for this event, participants are encouraged to fill out this brief survey: detroitzoo.org/2021-community-ewaste-collection-survey/
Want to support the Detroit Zoo and the Detroit Zoological Society even more? Consider holding a corporate event at the Zoo. Every year the Zoo hosts hundreds of groups and events, from 20 guests to several thousand. For information about the private event venues, visit detroitzoo.org/rental/private-event-venues/.