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Detroit Zoological Society Helps Give New Life to Old Electronics

America Recycles Day event to be held at the Detroit Zoo November 15

Give us your tired TVs, your dusty DVD players and wretched radios from your teeming basements and the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) will help give them new life. The Detroit Zoo will collect old and obsolete electronics on America Recycles Day, November 15.

Electronics can be dropped off for recycling from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the large 10 Mile Road parking lot near the gazebo. The DZS will accept all electronics, including radios, printers, computers, televisions, VHS and DVD players and cell phones.

Cell phone production – and its reliance on an ore found in Africa called coltan – is damaging wild habitats and decimating populations of gorillas and other animals. A sustainability talk at the Great Apes of Harambee at 2:30 p.m. will offer guests a greater understanding of how recycling old cell phones can help animals in the wild.

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“As a leader in environmental sustainability, we are committed to bettering the world for both humans and wildlife,” said Gerry Van Acker, DZS chief operating officer. “This event gives us the opportunity to engage the community in joining us on our Green Journey.”

Additional talks will be held at 11:30 a.m. near the guanaco habitat, where staff will discuss the DZS’s anaerobic digester and how it is annually turning 500 tons of animal waste into energy. A 1:30 p.m. talk at the Edward Mardigian Sr. River Otter Habitat will focus on plastic pollution and how the DZS is keeping 60,000 plastic bottles out of the waste stream annually by no longer selling bottled water. An activity in the underwater gallery of the Polk Penguin Conservation Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. will highlight the dangers animals face due to plastic waste.

For this event, the DZS has contracted with companies that take old electronics, separate commodities such as aluminum, copper and steel, and recycle those parts with the goal of reducing the amount of e-waste that ends up in landfills.

The Detroit Zoological Society – a renowned leader in humane education, wildlife conservation, animal welfare and environmental sustainability – operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center.  In recognition of its environmental leadership, the DZS received the top Green Award from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and was named Best-Managed Nonprofit by Crain’s Detroit Business.  With an annual regional economic impact of more than $100 million, the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak is one of Michigan’s largest paid family attractions, hosting more than 1.5 million visitors annually.  Its 125 acres of award-winning naturalistic habitats are home to 2,000 animals representing 230 species.  The Belle Isle Nature Center sits on a 5-acre site surrounded by undisturbed forested wetlands on Belle Isle State Park in Detroit.  It provides year-round educational, recreational and environmental conservation opportunities for the community.  For hours, prices, directions and other information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit detroitzoo.org.

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