AAA uses Earth Day to collect batteries, help the environment & charities
By AAA of Western and Central New York
Held in conjunction with Earth Day, the AAA “Great Battery Roundup” is designed to encourage motorists to take old automotive or marine lead-acid batteries to a local collection point where they can be safely recycled and formed into new batteries. AAA Western and Central New York is pleased to participate with a convenient program this year.
To help with the recycling effort, AAA Western and Central New York has established multiple battery collection points. AAA also will donate all recycling fees to charitable groups focused on improving the environment.
Each year, approximately 97% of vehicle batteries are recycled. However, the remaining 3% add up to millions of pounds of lead and gallons of sulfuric acid. These can be discharged into the environment, creating health and safety hazards for humans and animals, as well as a potential fire hazard.
Motorists can take part in AAA Western and Central New York’s free lead-based battery recycling – any brand or type of lead-acid or AGM batteries will be accepted, that includes car, boat and RV batteries, but lithium batteries are not eligible. Dropoff days are Wednesday, April 21, through Saturday, April 24. Weekday hours, Wednesday through Friday, are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Local sites include:
•Did you know? Batteries are hazardous.
Lead-acid batteries are considered hazardous material. Anyone handling a battery should wear protective eyewear and gloves. Proper handling prevents injuries. Because they can leak and emit hydrogen gas, batteries should not be exposed to an open flame.
If improperly stored, a battery may leak, causing sulfuric acid burns and even explosions. Dumping an old battery can also hurt your pocketbook. Many states hand out tough fines and jail time for discarding lead-acid batteries anywhere other than an authorized collection or recycling center.
•AAA replaces batteries on the go.
Since 1998, AAA has dispatched mobile units to test batteries, and install new batteries on the spot, if requested. Technicians deliver spent batteries to recycling centers. AAA’s mobile battery service is available in most areas. Request service via the free AAA mobile app (www.AAA.com/Mobile), at www.AAA.com/Battery, or by calling 1-800-836-CLUB.
•Batteries are a recycling success story.
An automotive battery contains about 21 pounds of lead, three pounds of plastic and one gallon of sulfuric acid. When a spent battery is recycled, lead is re-smelted into new battery plates, acid is neutralized and reclaimed and plastic is used to make new battery cases.
The lead-acid battery industry was an early innovator of “closed loop” recycling and remains a leader in this efficient, economical process. This process reclaims materials from spent batteries and uses them in the production of new units.
Lead costs are on the rise, so recycling spent batteries not only protects the environment but also reclaims valuable lead and plastic for manufacturing, saving energy and money on raw materials.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.