AAA Clubs Saddle Up For Start Of 3rd Annual Great Battery Roundup

Orlando, Fla. – 4/18/2003

While many motorists are aware of the need to keep their vehicle maintained to help prevent air pollution, AAA also is using the occasion of Earth Day on April 22nd to increase the proper handling and disposal of vehicle maintenance products; especially lead-acid automotive batteries.

This will be the third consecutive year AAA clubs in various cities will be hosting the AAA Great Battery Roundup and establishing temporary used battery collection points. 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.

“The impact of vehicle maintenance on the environment can be an overlooked aspect of responsible vehicle ownership,” said Marshall L. Doney, vice president of AAA Automotive. “With an estimated 230 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.”

Local AAA clubs in many areas of the United States have established special used battery collection points and have informed spokespersons available to discuss the battery recycling issue with national or area media.

The AAA Great Battery Roundup is designed to encourage motorists to locate stray automotive or marine lead-acid batteries and head them to a local recycling collection point where they can be safely shipped to a recycling center and formed into new batteries.

Used vehicle batteries containing both lead and sulfuric acid are a toxic danger to humans and the environment — as well as a potentially dangerous fire and safety hazard.

To encourage the recycling effort AAA clubs in select locations will be establishing local battery collection points and offering free vehicle battery checks utilizing AAA’s specially equipped battery service vehicles, or stationary battery testers.

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

Many of these batteries are illegally disposed of in landfills and water sources, but many more 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.

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 46 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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