Recycling old mobile phones to help save gorillas

Thursday, 29 August 2019

North Geelong Secondary College has been collecting old mobile phones to help protect gorillas in the wild.

Phone collection drives organised by the Year 9 Applied Learning Class have resulted in around 30 phones being donated to Zoo’s Victoria’s They’re Calling on You’ project.

The innovative mobile phone recycling campaign has collected 164,000 phones and raised more than $271,000 for gorilla conservation.

It sees mobile phones recycled through Phone Cycle and profits donated to support Zoos Victoria and its conservation partners, Gorilla Doctors, who provide life-saving medical care to fragile wild gorilla populations in Africa.

The school will run another phone collection drive later this year, this time with its year 7 students.

Run your own mobile phone recycling campaign at school.

Simply register your school and use Zoos Victoria’s materials and resources to set up your phone drive. Each time you collect 10 or more phones you can get a free courier pick-up from anywhere in Australia.

You could even run a competition to encourage the class or team to collect the most phones.

Closing the loop: why it’s important to recycle mobile phones

Mobile phones contain precious metals and plastics that can be recycled to save energy and resources that would otherwise need to be mined or manufactured. When placed in a landfill, these materials can pollute the air and contaminate soil and drinking water.

Jacob Storer - North Geelong Secondary College Year Level Coordinator

It was a cause the Year 9 students felt passionately about. After visiting the zoo one day and seeing the promotion for the 'They’re Calling on You' project, the students asked if they could organise a phone collection to help protect the gorillas.

The students took ownership of the project from the start to finish. The zoo provides a whole range of educational materials, so they learned about Congo and about the Eastern Lowland and Mountain Gorillas’ threatened habitat.

This knowledge helped the students explain to others why it was important to donate old phones.

The students then made and decorated phone collection boxes out of wood and recycled cardboard and promoted the phone drive as part of the school’s multicultural festival.

The kids loved it. They’ve watched the War on Waste and it excites them to get involved. Real world learning is so important.

Page last updated: Friday, 30 August 2019