We are currently running an appeal for people to donate us their old mobile phones which we are doing for 3 main reasons:
- We are able to raise funds for the park through recycling these phones, and because it is the components within the phones which get recycled we are able to recycle old phones, new phones, broken phones and working phones.
- By recycling we are able to help lower the environmental impact which phones have by helping to reduce waste, and re-use the components inside which are made from the metal Coltan.
- We are hoping to raise awareness of the effects which Coltan mining has on the planet (more of which can be read below).
Many of the electrical items which we have in our homes including games consoles, stereos, mp3 players, laptops and most commonly mobile phones use components which are made from the metal Coltan. By recycling mobile phones we are able to ensure that the Coltan components inside old devices can be re-used in new devices as opposed to having to increase mining efforts as demand for mobile phones continues to increase.
There are a number of countries which are big players in Coltan mining, and one of the biggest of all is the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is an area which is home to numerous very important species hanging on the brink of extinction, with the extensive mining of Coltan doing little to improve this situation. The mining process harms the wildlife in the area by:
- Forests and other important plants being chopped down during the mining process which removes not only important habitat for numerous species but also removes an important food source.
- Traffic to mining areas pose a new threat for animals which often fall victim to traffic collisions.
- The noise of the mining (even though it is often done by hand) and extra activity around those areas can cause massive disruption to the social wellbeing of animals in the area.
- Miners often use the opportunity of hunting “bush meat” which can be anything from a wild deer to a Gorilla as a way of both feeding themselves and gaining an extra income.
- Pollution in rivers and pools surrounding such areas can often drive animals away from important water sources.
However there is a way in which you can help lessen the impact of such mining. It is unrealistic to think that we will be able to stop this type of mining completely, and in fact it would not be necessary to halt it entirely because there are numerous areas in Australasia and South America where it is mined responsibly. We can make a difference in the demand for the raw product of Coltan however to ensure that damage to the environment is decreased and slowed down dramatically. Coltan demand is slowly decreasing in the electronics sector thanks to the availability of recycled electrical components.
We are trying to help lessen this demand further by collecting old mobile phones to be sent off for recycling. Each phone which gets recycled will contain many components which then do not need to be built as brand new items anymore.
At the same time you will be helping us raise money which will be used to fund our rescue projects at the park, and helping us do this couldn’t be easier… just follow these steps:
- Get the phones to us either by mailing them to the address below and dropping them in at the park (either to the receptionist or in to our mobile phone collection box in reception).
And that is it… That right there is just ONE simple step to helping us recycle your old mobile phones. Once we have collected a batch of these phones we will send them off for recycling and do the rest!
So why not clear out those old phones which we all have sitting around in at least one drawer or cupboard at home and help both our animals and the environment in the process!
Wingham Wildlife Park