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April 8, 2002

Get the lead out

AAA's "Great Battery Roundup" benefits IBRRC

E very year in Northern California, more than 200,000 dead car batteries never find their way to recycling plants. Instead, they sit in garages, hide in sheds, rust in carports, and contaminate backyards.

To commemorate Earth Day, AAA of Northern California is launching the "Great Battery Roundup," in an effort to collect and recycle toxic car batteries that are a hazard to people and the environment.

"These batteries can be extremely dangerous," said AAA spokesman Atle Erlingsson. "This is the perfect opportunity to safely remove and recycle that hazard from your home and neighborhood."

The average car battery is filled with 21 pounds of lead and one gallon of sulfuric acid. AAA warns that acid escaping through cracks can cause painful injuries to curious children or animals. Leaking lead eventually seeps into the ground, polluting the soil. But even though batteries are dangerous, AAA says they are easily recyclable.

"More than 99 percent of a vehicle battery can be completely recycled and used again," said Erlingsson.

Nationwide, 95 percent of car batteries are recycled each year. The remaining five percent - more than five million batteries - end up contaminating backyards and local creek beds.

AAA is asking people to search their garages, sheds, backyards, and other areas for lone batteries. During the week of April 15-20, AAA will collect the batteries at 27 safe drop-off sites throughout Northern California. For every battery turned in, AAA will donate up to $2 to a local non-profit environmental organization in the area.

In Fairfield, the recipient will be the International Bird Research Rescue Center.


Media contact:

Karen Benzel

Office: (831) 622-7588

E-mail: karen@ibrrc.org


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