Recycle Holiday Lights & Electronics at the Houston Zoo!

Recycle your old holiday string lights at the Houston Zoo until Sunday, January 7. Recycling helps keep unwanted items out of landfills. The fewer landfills we need for human waste, the more space there is for animals! To help protect wildlife, the Houston Zoo has placed a holiday lights recycling bin at the main entrance gate of the zoo. Only string lights will be accepted for recycle; please do not bring items such as flood lights, or light hooks, or other Christmas decorations.

The collection bin is located just inside of the Main Entrance and is open until the last day of Zoo Lights on January 7, 2024.

For additional information visit: 

Recycle Your Holiday Lights at the Zoo to Save Wildlife - The Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo also recycles a variety of handheld electronics on a year-round basis.

Devices the Zoo recycles: Cell phones, Smart phones, iPods or other MP3 players, iPads or other tablets, WIFI hot spots, Handheld gaming devices, GPS, Electronic accessories such as chargers, blue tooth headsets, etc. By recycling cell phones, YOU can help animals like gorillas, chimpanzees, and okapis by reducing the demand for new materials to be mined.

Cell phones and their accessories contain a large number of hazardous substances and toxic materials. These toxins include arsenic, beryllium, cadmium and lead. When thrown away, these electronics make their way to landfills where these contaminates can leach into the ground and waterways contaminating natural resources and polluting wildlife habitat.

Drop off your unused handheld electronics on your next visit. The collection box is located at the main entrance of the Zoo next to Guest Relations. Or you can mail them in - see weblink below for mailing address.

Reduction and Recycling (Electronic Devices) - The Houston Zoo


Cell phones and other handheld electronic devices contain a material called tantalum that is derived from the mineral Col-Tan (columbite-tantalite). Coltan is destructively mined in central Africa, which happens to be where animals like chimpanzees, gorillas, mandrills and okapi live.

When the metal is taken from these animal habitats, their homes become disrupted and these animal populations, as well as other plant and animal species in the same habitat, decrease.

For questions on recycling matters, contact Frank Blake at