Mobile Phone Recycling

Help protect endangered chimpanzees, gorillas, and their habitat by using your existing mobile phone for longer and recycling it when it has reached the end of its useful life.

The forest is calling you!

Mobile phones contain minerals such as gold, cobalt, tungsten, tin, and coltan. Mining for these minerals in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo drives illegal bushmeat hunting, destroys crucial chimpanzee and gorilla habitat, contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions, and has funded long-running human conflict.

By the end of 2019 it's expected there will be more 5 billion mobile phone users worldwide. With an average lifetime of 18 - 36 months before upgrade or replacement, this number will only continue to grow. Global mobile phone sales are predicted to reach 5 million units per day by 2023.

However, up to 99% of materials can be recovered when mobile devices are recycled.

What is the solution?

Recycling old and unwanted devices can both reduce the need for new minerals to be mined and help raise funds to support JGI’s work to protect endangered chimpanzees and gorillas in EDRC.

In addition to recycling old and unwanted devices, buying a secondhand device or extending your phone's lifespan beyond the average of 18 - 36 months will also help reduce the pressure of mining on ape populations.

What can you do?

You can get involved by donating your unwanted mobile phones, tablets, mp3 players, and associated accessories. Simply collect 10 or more devices then arrange a free courier collection by completing the online request form. The more devices you donate, the greater your impact, so remember to check drawers and cupboards for old or broken devices, and ask family, friends, co-workers, and classmates if they have any devices you can donate on their behalf. You can also set up a collection station where people can deposit their unwanted devices at your school or workplace.

All donated devices will be data wiped, then those with resale value will be refurbished and sold, while the rest will be dismantled and recycled. PhoneCycle will donate the money raised from the sale of the refurbished devices to JGIA to support our conservation programs in EDRC.

Will You Answer the Call?

Resources to help you get started

Download our poster to place on and around your collection station to let people know where to deposit their unwanted devices.

The collective action of all of us using our mobile devices for longer and recycling them when they have reached the end of their useful life will have a greater impact on reducing the amount of waste being produced and the amount of new mineral ore that needs to be mined. Keeping these minerals in the ground will help protect endangered great apes and their habitats.

Contact for questions about our campaign.