The Virginia Zoo is partnering with ECO-CELL, a family-owned business in Louisville, Ky., to recycle electronics that contain rare minerals and metals, such as tantalum, which comes from mining in the African Congo that destroys habitats and threatens animals. Disposing of these items in landfills can lead to the minerals leaching into the soil and water sources. By recycling these electronics, the Zoo reduces the amount of the new minerals that need to be mined while protecting endangered species' habitats, reducing environmental stress and deterring toxic waste from landfills.
The project was made possible through Keep Virginia Beautiful's "30 in 30 Green Grants." The Zoo received $1,000 in funding and used the donation to acquire a weather-proof and secure collection bin for electronics, such as old smartphones, tablets, adapters and chargers. The ECO-CELL collection box is located outside of the Zoo's main entrance near the Zoo Gift Shop.
Learn more here.