Cell phone recycling centers during the past few years are seeing more donations than ever before. In part, this is because many different civic and governmental organizations are beginning to promote the practice. The members of the American public are becoming increasingly aware that the practice of recycling cell phones helps to avoid environmental damage right here at home by keeping toxic elements out of landfills and out of the air we breathe, since in some municipalities garbage is incinerated.
What Americans may not be as aware of is the fact that cell recycling also helps the environment in a completely different way. The elements that go into the manufacture of a mobile phone, after all, must come from somewhere. When old phones are recycled, fewer elements must be mined from the earth to feed the almost insatiable demand for new phones.
This aspect of cell phone recycling is particularly important for habitats in a central African nation: the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This region of Africa provides some of the most important gorilla habitats in the world, but this region is being increasingly endangered by coltan mining. Coltan is refined to produce tantalum, an element used in the manufacture of the capacitors found in cell phones. Gorillas are being forced from their habitat and even killed in order to increase coltan production.
So there is one more reason to do the right thing with your old cell phone. By recycling your phone, you will be doing your part to help save a gorilla!