ASHEBORO-Visitors to the North Carolina Zoo's Earth Day weekend, April 17-18, can receive a free admission by bringing their old cell phones to the park for recycling.

Any visitor who enters the park with a paid admission or Society Membership admission and turns in a cell phone will receive a free ticket, good for one adult or child, to be used upon their next zoo visit.
The free admissions are valid from Monday, April 19, until Wednesday, June 30, 2010, and may not be used during Earth Day Weekend. Free tickets are limited to one per person, per turned-in cell phone. There will be a collection station inside the park at either the North America or Africa entrance during Earth Day Weekend.

Recyclers will not only receive free zoo admission, but also will help reduce electronic waste and preserve natural habitats.

In March, the North Carolina Zoo supported Randolph Telephone's "Calling All Kids" cell-phone recycling campaign, in which more than 750 cell phones were turned in.

The North Carolina Zoo began its cell-phone recycling campaign in 2004 and has removed over 4,000 unwanted phones during that time. Proceeds from the campaign benefit Uganda and North Carolina International Teaching for the Environment (UNITE), the zoo's educational outreach program in Uganda, Central Africa.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.