On a mission to reduce the environmental impact of e-waste on a global scale, Cambridge, Ontario-based Greentec, a certified tech lifecycle management company, recently announced its partnership with the Toronto Zoo, as an approved electronics waste recycler for Phone Apes.
Operating since 2006, Phone Apes simplifies small electronics recycling, allowing visitors to drop off their outdated and discarded technology devices at the Toronto Zoo, through the mail, at partnering drop-off locations across the City of Toronto, or at over 3,000 local businesses or institutions across Ontario. Since the start of the program, the Zoo has collected close to 50,000 cellphones.
The gorilla troop is a beloved part of the Toronto Zoo, which plays a vital role in supporting conservation efforts for the critically endangered Western Lowland gorilla. Colton minerals, a critical material in the production of LED devices. Image credits: Toronto Zoo.
Around the world, the disposal of mobile phones into improper waste streams continues to grow. As the number of mobiles phones continue to outpace the number of people around the world, it is estimated that around 150+ million phones are discarded each year into landfills. Not only impacting the health and well-being of humans but the toxic chemicals and materials contained within mobile phones also threaten the natural environment and animals.
Containing gold, lithium and cobalt, mining these materials for new device production can lead to the mass release of emissions, furthering global climate change. Within the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the ongoing mining of coltan — a critical material in the production of LED devices, touch screens and capacitors — has led to devastation of the environment, removing critical habitats, stripping forests and wasting water.
“What may seem like a small and inconsequential device can have a massive global impact,” says Tony Perrotta, president and CEO of Greentec. “If each and every person recycles their mobile devices into proper waste streams, we can reduce reliance on mining for new materials, alleviating the pressure placed on the natural habitats of vulnerable species around the world.”
A leader in secure and sustainable electronic recycling processing, Greentec will now obtain devices from the Toronto Zoo, before shredding the devices of all private data, diverting materials into proper waste streams and sourcing key recycled components to be used in the sustainable production of new devices.
“We are pleased to partner with a new e-waste recycling service provider, like Greetec, who can not only ensure the secure destruction of residual data that is sometimes left on old devices, to protect the public from any data privacy risks, but also has the certification and know-how to reduce the devastating environmental impact of these devices,” says Kyla Greenham, manager of conservation programs and environment at the Toronto Zoo.
“Working with Canadian-based recyclers, we encourage all visitors to bring their mobile phones during their next trip to the Toronto Zoo and know that they are making a big difference for animals and habitats around the world.”
For further information on Phones Apes and how visitors to the Toronto Zoo can reduce their environmental impact, visit https://www.torontozoo.com/tz/phoneapes.
Featured image credit: Greentec.