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Taronga Western Plains Zoo is calling on you to recycle your old mobile phone and help save one of our closest living relatives.

Mobile phones contain a mineral called coltan and much of the world’s supply of coltan comes from Central Africa, where its mining is directly linked to habitat destruction and the decline of at least 10 of Africa’s primate species including Western Lowland Gorillas.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is supporting the They’re Calling On You campaign and inviting members of the public to donate their old mobile phones and help save the species through reducing the demand of coltan.

“Simply pick up a postage-paid envelope from the Zoo’s front gate and place your mobile phone in it and send it off, it’s that easy,” said Taronga Western Plains Zoo keeper, Mark O’Riordan.

Australians upgrade their mobile phones every 18 – 24 months resulting in millions of mobiles being dumped in landfill every year.

“By simply donating an old mobile phone you are reducing the pressure placed on gorilla habitat and money raised from refurnished mobiles will go to the Taronga Foundation and the Jane Goodall Institute’s conservation programs, including primate conservation work in Africa,” said Mark.

“The majority of people would have an unwanted phone laying around the house, so why not donate it to through this free program and help out a worthwhile cause.”

By sending your old phone through the free They’re Calling On You mobile phone recycling program you are: diverting your phone from landfill, raising money for the Taronga Foundation and the Jane Goodall Institute’s conservation programs and reducing the demand for coltan mining by recycling the coltan-coated capacitor in your old mobile phone.

Businesses and school’s can also get involved in the campaign.  Simply visit www.tarong.org.au click on the They’re Calling On You icon at the bottom of the page, download a registration form and organise a bulk courier pick up free of charge.

Postage-paid envelopes will be available for members of the public at the Zoo’s front gate and will also be distributed to zoo visitors at keeper talks and encounters.  Alternatively you can drop your old mobile phone to the staff at the Zoo’s gates.

For more information about the They’re Calling On You program or how to donate your mobile phone to the program contact 02 6881 1400 or visit www.taronga.org.au.

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