This Earth Day, AAA and the EPA Encourage Motorists to Get the Lead Out by Sponsoring Battery Roundup

Orlando, Fla. – 4/13/2005

In commemoration of Earth Day next week, AAA and the EPA are asking motorists nationwide to help take charge of their environment by helping “Get the lead out” during AAA’s Great Battery Roundup. With an estimated 248 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.

These used lead-acid vehicle batteries often turn up in garages, backyards and storage sheds where they may be creating an environmental and safety hazard.

“AAA is on a mission to educate the public on the potential dangers of having old lead acid batteries in our living areas while also encouraging battery recycling” said Margaret Pittlekow, managing director of AAA’s Emergency Road Service Network.

Motorists can make sure used batteries are safely returned to recycling plants by bringing them to AAA collection points for shipment.

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.

In support of Great Battery Roundup, Thomas Dunne, EPA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response, states “The EPA applauds AAA’s efforts in helping to protect the environment by encouraging motorists to recycle their vehicle’s used batteries and other recyclable automotive-related products. By recycling, motorists can play a critical role in protecting our land, our sea and our air. I encourage all Americans to participate in the Great Battery Roundup on Earth Day!”

AAA will also be performing free vehicle battery check-ups at select club offices, utilizing specially equipped vehicles that perform battery assistance for club members. These vehicles are staffed by trained battery technicians that can quickly diagnose battery or charging system problems, provide a boost or replacement battery, or a referral to an AAA approved repair facility.

“The typical new lead acid battery contains 60 to 80 percent recycled lead and plastic, which saves money and energy on raw materials and protects the natural resources in the environment,” added Pittlekow.

AAA requests consumers wear gloves and safety glasses when handling batteries, keep them upright and place batteries in a sturdy 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.

Individual consumers that have multiple batteries in need of pick up and recycling can call AAA and request transportation assistance during the Great Battery Roundup.

For more information on AAA’s public affairs and safety programs such as AAA’s Battery Roundup, please visit www.aaa.com/publicaffairs.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides its nearly 47 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automobile-related services. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

# # #