AAA Wants The Nations Motorists Charged Up For The Start Of Annual Great Battery Roundup?

Orlando, Fla. – 4/19/2004

AAA is asking motorists to do a favor for Mother Nature this week. As a way to observe Earth Day on April 22nd, the motor club is requesting all vehicle owners check their homes, garages and yards for used lead-acid automotive batteries and take them to a recycling center as soon as possible.

To make the chore easier, many AAA clubs are setting up temporary recycling centers where consumers can drop off their used batteries for shipment to recycling plants at no cost.

This will be the fourth consecutive year AAA clubs in various cities will be hosting the AAA Great Battery Roundup. The purpose of the Roundup is to spur recycling of one of the most potentially harmful cast-off consumer products from 95 percent to 100 percent nationwide.

“Some used batteries are illegally disposed of in dumps and water sources, but others are simply sitting in a forgotten corner of someone’s property where they could contaminate soil and ground water, explode in a fire or become a source of lead poisoning to humans and animals,” said Margaret Pittelkow, managing director of AAA Emergency Road Service.

“With an estimated 285 million vehicles on the road in North America, the proper use and disposal of vehicle batteries, tires and various types of automotive fluids are crucial to a healthy environment,” she said.

(NOTE TO EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: AAA clubs have informed spokespersons available to discuss the battery recycling issue with national or local media.)

In recent years, AAA has established a mobile AAA Battery Service to aid motorists experiencing electrical problems with their vehicles. AAA trained and equipped battery technicians are able to quickly diagnose starting problems and install a new battery if necessary and requested by the consumer. All used batteries collected by the AAA Battery Service are disposed of safely.

To encourage battery recycling and make consumers aware of AAA’s growing fleet of environmentally helpful battery service vehicles, AAA clubs in select locations will be establishing local battery collection points and offering free vehicle battery checks.

Nearly 99 percent of a vehicle battery can be recycled and used again without removing new lead, or other natural resources from the environment. Approximately five million vehicle batteries are not returned for recycling each year, AAA said.

AAA requests consumers wear gloves and safety glasses when handling batteries, keep them upright and place batteries in a cardboard box or plastic container when transporting them for recycling. If the battery case is cracked or leaking, be especially careful to choose a leak-proof container. Do not smoke near or expose the batteries to an open flame, and make certain they will not shift and tip over in a moving vehicle.

For information on the proper disposal of automotive tires and fluids, media are urged to contact their local or state environmental protection agency.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides 47 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

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