AAA 'Rounds Up' Car Batteries for Annual Recycling Drive

Phoenix, Ariz., April 15, 2012. Improperly stored or disposed car batteries can create health, fire and safety hazards for humans, animals and the environment. As a result, each year AAA Arizona encourages motorists to recycle their used batteries through its annual Great Battery Roundup®, which is held during Earth Week (April 16-22).

During the week-long round up, motorists are urged to drop off their used vehicle batteries at any AAA owned or AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) facility across the state, where they will be recycled at no charge For every battery collected, the auto club will donate $4 to environmental charities, such as Keep Phoenix Beautiful and Tucson Clean and Beautiful .

“The Great Battery Roundup provides a free and easy way for drivers to dispose of their used car batteries safely while removing hazards from our environment,” said John Walter, director of automotive repair for AAA Arizona. “Many motorists may be surprised to find that 99 percent of auto batteries can be recycled into a new auto battery.”

The three major components of a vehicle battery—lead, sulfuric acid and plastic—can all be recycled. When recycled, here is what happens to those components:

  • A vehicle battery contains 21 pounds of lead. Approximately 97 percent of this lead can be recycled and reused indefinitely in the production of new batteries.

  • There is one gallon of sulfuric acid in a vehicle battery. This can be reused for new batteries, neutralized, purified and tested before being released as clean water; or it can be converted to sodium sulfate, a product used in fertilizer, dyes and other products.

  • The three pounds of plastic that comprise a vehicle battery case can be recycled like any other plastic. In fact, cases are black because they have already been made from recycled plastic.

“Keep Phoenix Beautiful is proud to work with AAA Arizona to promote the Great Battery Roundup and dispose of batteries properly and keeping them out of landfills,” said Tom Waldeck, executive director for Keep Phoenix Beautiful.

“Recycling unwanted car batteries rather than storing them helps eliminate a hazard to humans, pets, and our community's natural environment in one simple action,” said B.J. Cordova, director of programs for Tucson Clean & Beautiful. “Tucson Clean & Beautiful is glad to partner with AAA Arizona to encourage proper disposal of car batteries for this week, and as a reminder of what can and should be done throughout the year.”

AAA Arizona’s Great Battery Roundup has collected more than 1,700 batteries and has donated $6,800 to environmental charities since it began in 2000.

April also marks the seventh anniversary of AAA’s Green Shop program. In 2005, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) authorized the auto club as a statewide automotive certifying agent for the program. This year, five AAR facilities have received Green Shop designation, bringing the total number of AAA Green Shops across the state to 32.