AAA Great Battery Roundup® April 16–27


Motorists Urged to Remove and Recycle Old Vehicle, Motorcycle, Boat, Plane Batteries to Aid Southern California Bird Rescue and Environmental Education Efforts

(Los Angeles, April 1, 2005) — The Automobile Club of Southern California's "Great Battery Roundup" is about to get under way, and the Club is urging Southern California motorists to scour garages, carports and yards for used vehicle, motorcycle, boat and airplane batteries, and donate them at designated recycling sites.

For each battery "rounded up" and returned to the Auto Club's designated recycling sites, the AAA Battery Service will donate $1.50 to the San Pedro–based International Bird Rescue Research Center to aid their bird rescue and environmental education work. This organization's efforts have intensified after the recent Pyramid Lake oil pipe break and an oil spill in January off the coast of Santa Barbara that spread south to Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Southern California motorists will be able to donate used car, truck, motorcycle and boat lead-acid batteries to any of 96 collection locations throughout Southern California between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily from Saturday, April 16 to Wednesday, April 27.

The goal of the AAA "Great Battery Roundup" campaign is to collect 1,200 batteries throughout the Southland. The battery recycling campaign is a national recycling effort for AAA affiliates.

"We are very grateful to the Automobile Club of Southern California for helping educate the public about the danger of lead batteries that are discarded or improperly stored. This program provides the perfect opportunity to recycle lead batteries and benefit non-profit environmental groups like ours," said Karen Benzel, IBRRC's public affairs director.

"The impact of vehicle maintenance on the environment can be an overlooked aspect of responsible vehicle ownership," said Steve Mazor, the Auto Club's principal automotive engineer. "Leaking acid can be a source of poison to children, animals and wildlife. Leaking lead eventually seeps into the ground, polluting soil, contaminating backyards and water runoff," according to Mazor. Battery explosions also can cause painful chemical burn injuries, he added. "With an estimated 210 million vehicles on the road in the U.S., the proper use and disposal of vehicle batteries, tires and various types of automotive fluids are crucial to a healthy environment," Mazor said.

A list of the drop off locations can be found at

The roundup has been endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency, a federal government agency that has encouraged motorists to participate in the campaign.

Many batteries are illegally disposed in dumps and water sources, but many more are simply forgotten in someone's garage, carport, yard, storage unit or shed.

The Auto Club requests that:

  • Consumers wear leather or protective gloves and safety glasses when handling batteries.
  • For those transporting dead batteries for recycling, keep batteries upright and place them in a sturdy box or plastic container. Plastic containers can be purchased at local home repair and auto repair centers.
  • If the battery case is cracked or leaking, be especially careful to choose a leak-proof container.
  • Consumers should 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.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap afterwards, even though you wore gloves.

Individual consumers who have multiple batteries in need of pick up and recycling may call one of the local collection points near their home and request transportation assistance during the battery roundup.

"Nearly 95 percent of a vehicle battery can be recycled, including reusing the lead," said Mazor. "Unfortunately, more than five million vehicle batteries are not returned for recycling each year."

During the rest of the year, the AAA Battery Service will support the effort by removing a used battery for recycling each time they install a replacement battery for an Auto Club member.

If you don't have a battery to contribute, but want to be part of the campaign, contributions also can be sent to International Bird Rescue Research Center, c/o 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro, CA 90731. Write GBR/San Pedro in the memo line.

The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest AAA affiliate, has been serving members since 1900. Today, Auto Club members benefit by the organization's roadside assistance, financial products, travel agency and trip planning services, highway and transportation safety programs, insurance products and services and automotive pricing, buying and financing programs. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club's web site at