Gorillas on the Line…Answer the Call

January 30 - July 4

Calling all teachers, business leaders, animal lovers and activists! Join an exciting campaign to help save gorillas in the wild.

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is once again partnering with Gorilla SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) and its Gorillas on the Line…Answer the Call global cell phone recycling challenge. Money raised by recycling used cell phones and small electronics will directly support gorilla conservation initiatives in Africa.

Gorillas on the Line…Answer the Call is a yearly global cell phone recycling challenge organized by Gorilla SAFE with participants from across the country and around the globe. The DZS and other partnering institutions recruit schools, businesses and other groups in their surrounding areas to collect small electronic devices that will be shipped to partner organization ECO-CELL and recycled. In addition to working with teams and local organizations, individuals can also participate in this program by dropping off devices in collection bins at the Detroit Zoo.

Reusable devices will be refurbished and resold to raise money for Gorilla SAFE conservation initiatives in Africa, while unusable devices will be recycled through certified companies to help make the world a greener place.

Worldwide, 10,359 devices were collected and $7,540 was raised in 2022. 2023 marks the fifth year of the challenge, and we are celebrating by aiming to collect another 10,000 devices!

Gather your team and get started with three easy steps:


Answer the call!
Register your team today by filling out the form. After registering, you’ll receive a resource kit and weekly emails to help with your collection drive.
You can also register by contacting Stephen Vrla by phone at (248) 336-5809 or by email at svrla@dzs.org


Recycle those phones!

Gather your team and collect as many used cell phones and small electronics as possible through April 30. You can bring your collected items to the Detroit Zoo and drop them off in our collection bins or ship them directly to ECO-CELL. If you prefer to ship, please do so by the first Friday in May. We’ll send free shipping labels after your collection drive ends.

Guests and participants should remove all data and personal information from their devices prior to shipping or dropping them off at the Detroit Zoo. ECO-CELL does not clear data from the phones it recycles, and the company encourages participants perform a data wipe or factory reset before donating. Learn more about ECO-CELL’s practices here.


Save gorillas! 
Each phone or small electronic recycled with the DZS helps ensure a better future for gorillas right here at the Zoo and in Africa. In addition, your contributions support our mission of creating meaningful connections between people, animals and the natural world so all can thrive.


Contest winners are announced on World Gorilla Day, Sept. 24.

In 2022, the DZS collected 1,793 devices and donated $1,242, ranking third in North America! With your help this year, we know we can make 2023 even more successful!

Did you know?

We keep our collection bins out at the Detroit Zoo all year long, so feel free to drop off any of your unwanted small devices on your next trip to the zoo! Drop off locations are at the front entrance, the Ford Education Center, and the Great Apes public building.