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This zoo is offering free admission in exchange for a strange kind of 'ticket' that you already have sitting in your home

You'll also get a coupon for 10% off any items you buy from the zoo on the same day.

Electronic April , free zoo tickets

Photo Credit: iStock

The Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium is cooperating with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums's Gorilla SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) conservation program to host a new initiative called "Electronic April." During April, visitors who donate a small electronic device to be recycled will get free daytime admission to the zoo.

According to the zoo's website, the event will continue through April 30, running each day from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To take advantage of the offer, just bring your device to the admission gate to get your immediate free entry. 

Qualifying devices include cell phones, tablets, e-Readers, smart watches, digital cameras, MP3 players, GPS devices, and handheld gaming devices in any condition. You can also bring cables and chargers, although you won't receive free zoo admission for them. Groups can bring more than one item from the list and get a free ticket for each one. 

Along with free admission, you'll also get a coupon for 10% off any items you buy from the zoo on the same day.

There are a few limits on the offer. It doesn't apply to laptops or other larger electronics, and you can only use your free entry at the time that you turn in your device — no saving your ticket for later. Also, make sure to wipe your data from every device beforehand since the zoo and its partner in the program, ECO-CELL, don't provide this service.

Electronics and batteries are full of hazardous chemicals that shouldn't go into a landfill because they're dangerous to the environment. On the other hand, they're also full of valuable materials that can be recycled into new electronics — but only by companies with the right equipment and training, which can be hard to find. 

Turning in your old electronics with programs like Electronic April is a convenient way to get rid of them. You'll even make a profit, as admission to the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium ranges from $19 to $24 depending on the age of the visitor and what day they go. Meanwhile, proceeds from the program go to protecting gorillas and their habitat.

The Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium will continue to accept electronics for recycling for the rest of the year, although the offer of free admission is only good for April.

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