African rainforests and the animals that live there are under threat. You can make a difference by recycling your out-of-use cell phone(s).

By donating your old cell phone(s), you:
  • Keep hazardous substances, found inside cell phones and other electronics, out of the trash so they can’t damage our environment.
  • Reduce demand for minerals found in cell phones that are sometimes mined illegally and destructively in African rainforests.
  • Raise money to support conservation efforts in Africa.
Thanks for making a difference!

Find out about schools, community groups, and businesses that have organized cell phone donations for the Recycle for Rainforests program.

What happens to the phones?
  • MPC (read more) collects the cell phones and transports them to their ISO:9001 secure facility in Mendota Heights, MN.
  • All data is erased (read more) and phones are then separated for testing.
  • Working phones are refurbished for resale or donation to charity.
  • Non-working phones are sent for refining where valuable metals are recovered for reuse in new product.
  • Proceeds are sent to the Minnesota Zoo for support of conservation efforts in Africa (see above).
Before donating your phone(s):

Make sure you terminate your service or switch your contract to a new phone.

  • Clear any personal data from the phone by removing the SIM card or manually the information.  On most cell phones, you can find “Reset Phone” under “Phone Settings.”
  • Turn your phone off, if your phone’s battery is still charged.
How to donate:recycleFlyer
  • Drop off your phone at the Minnesota Zoo. Collection bins are located at each Zoo entrance and at the top of the ramp to the Tropics Trail. OR
  • Drop your phone into the Recycle for Rainforests collection box at Valley Natural Foods in Burnsville. OR
  • Mailing option, for bulk donations: If you have 25 or more cell phones to donate, click here to register your donation and MPC will send you a label to use, to ship your phones for free.
Group/bulk donations:
  • Recycle for Rainforests is a great way for your group, school, organization, or company to make a difference for endangered species and their habitats.  Organize a cell phone recycling campaign today! Email kate.jenks@state.mn.us for details and assistance.
  • We gladly accept bulk cell phone donations.
Teachers and Schools:

Start a cell phone recycling drive in your class or school! This is a great opportunity to introduce students to an authentic conservation project with tangible results. Participating schools will receive a book, posters, parent letter templates, educational resources and more!  Email  us with your address so we can send your free kit to get started today! Call 952-431-9568 with questions.