Auto Club Conducts 'Green' Campaign For Fifth Consecutive Year
(Los Angeles, April 4, 2007) — For the fifth consecutive year, the AAA Great Battery Roundup is about to begin, and the Auto Club is urging Southern California motorists to scour garages, carports, yards, tool sheds and storage units for used vehicle, motorcycle, boat and airplane batteries, and donate them at designated recycling sites.
For each battery "rounded up" and returned to one of the Auto Club's 44 designated recycling sites from April 16-22, the AAA Battery Service will donate $1.50 to Surfbus, a group which provides first-time beach trips and marine science education to low-income children in two counties. A city-by-city list of drop off locations can be found at www.AAA.com and then clicking on the Automotive home page.
In 2006, the AAA Great Battery Roundup collected 2,097 batteries from individuals, homeowners, boaters and small plane operators, throughout Southern California. That's more than 44,000 lbs. of lead that no longer threat the environment. Last year's campaign generated more than $3,000 that was distributed to Surfbus, allowing it to grant 300 children first-time beach trips. Using battery roundup proceeds, the Hermosa Beach-group expanded into Orange County last summer with Surfbus transporting children to Huntington Beach. The group's director has said she'd like to expand the program into Ventura County this year.
"After the battery roundup wraps up this year, the collection sites at selected roadside assistance tow contractors will become permanent so the public can donate junk batteries at any time," said the Auto Club's AAA Battery Service Manager Bill Howell. "We want to encourage year-round conservation and expanding the battery collection effort is one way to do it," he added.
"We want to thank everyone who took the time last year to drop off a used battery at our collection sites. Removing junk batteries from the environment makes a difference in our quality of life," said Howell. "Leaking batteries can poison children and animals and pollute soil and water."
The 2007 AAA Great Battery Roundup campaign goal is to collect at least 1,000 batteries throughout the Southland.
"We're grateful to be chosen again by the Auto Club to receive proceeds from the battery roundup," said Surfbus Director Mary Setterholm. "The funds from the recycling campaign last year made a tremendous impact on the scope of our program. Many more children were able to leave their neighborhoods to enjoy the beach and learn about the ocean," she added. "We greatly appreciate the unique 'green' AAA campaign to round up used lead batteries," said Setterholm.
A former US Women's Surfing Champion and Orange County resident, Setterholm founded Surfbus after she witnessed a child drown on the beach. The summer camp draws thousands of low-income children from Southern California to its program annually. At camp they learn about ocean currents, sea life, tides and waves.
For those who don't have a battery to contribute, but want to be part of the campaign to help the Surfbus organization, contributions can be sent to Surfbus, c/o 302 19th St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Write in Auto Club/AAA Great Battery Roundup in the memo line of the check.
The Auto Club suggests the following battery recycling safety tips:
- Wear leather or disposable gloves and safety glasses when handling batteries.
- When 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 parts centers.)
- If the battery is cracked or leaking, use a leak-proof container.
- Don't smoke near, or expose batteries to, an open flame.
- Wash hands with warm water and soap afterwards, even though you wore gloves.
The Automobile Club of Southern California, one of the largest AAA affiliate, has served 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 and buying. Information about these products and services is available at www.AAA.com