Local News

AAA Carolinas To Offer Free Vehicle Battery Checks, Recycling

Posted April 13, 2004 3:01 a.m. EDT

— More than 55 AAA Carolinas

affiliated vehicle repair facilities

throughout North and South Carolina will provide a free battery check and pay motorists $1 for each potentially poisonous dead or unused vehicle battery they bring into the facility April 19-24.

As part of its celebration of Earth Day on April 22, there will be no fee charged by any of the 35 North Carolina or the 20 South Carolina AAA-related facilities when they accept the battery. A fee up to $5 is usually charged by repair facilities accepting a dead battery, which is often refunded if a new battery is purchased.

Consumers should wear gloves and safety glasses when handling batteries, keep them upright and place them in a sturdy box or plastic container when transporting them for recycling. If the battery case is cracked or leaking, it should be handled with caution and put in a leak-proof container. Never smoke near or expose batteries to an open flame.

AAA Carolinas members turned in nearly 27 tons of dead batteries last year.

More than 101 million lead-acid batteries are sold each year in the United States. A large number of batteries are illegally disposed of in dumps and water sources or simply sit in the corner of someone's garage where they can contaminate soil and groundwater with lead and sulfuric acid or explode in a fire.

The average car battery is filled with 21 pounds of lead, 1 gallon of sulfuric acid, and weighs an average of about 30 pounds.

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.

  The AAA Carolinas Great Battery Roundup, with partners Club Assist and Exide Corp., is designed as a one-week reminder to motorists to locate stray automotive or marine lead-acid batteries and transport them to a recycling plant or AAA approved auto repair facility.

In addition to helping clean up the environment, AAR facilities will perform free, scheduled, vehicle battery checkups for participants dropping off batteries for recycling.