News / AAA Collects Batteries, Honors Green Shops for Earth Day




AAA Collects Batteries, Honors Green Shops for Earth Day
        Phoenix, Ariz., April 17, 2009 –
Did you know that nearly 99 percent of a vehicle battery can be recycled?  To raise awareness and to encourage motorists to donate used batteries,AAA Arizona will kick off its 9th annual Great Battery Roundup on Monday, April 20—in support of Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22nd.
        During the “roundup,” AAA encourages motorists to bring used vehicle batteries to one of the 155  AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across the state. These batteries will then be turned in for recycling at no charge to the consumer.  For every battery collected during this week, AAA Arizona will donate $4 to Keep Phoenix Beautiful.
        “Automotive batteries contain lead, plastic and sulfuric acid. These elements can be destructive if released or improperly handled, discarded or stored at home,” said Don Nunnari, vice president of membership products and services for AAA Arizona. “They can contaminate soil and ground water, explode in a fire or become a source of lead poisoning to humans and animals. However, when a motor vehicle battery is recycled, about 99 percent of its components can be reused to make a new battery.”
When an automotive battery is recycled, here is what happens to its contents:
  • Approximately 97 percent of the lead in the battery can be reclaimed and used to manufacture a new battery. The lead is recycled and reused indefinitely.


  • The sulfuric acid can be recycled and used in new batteries; it can be neutralized, purified and tested before being released as clean water; or it can be converted to sodium sulfate, a product used in fertilizer, dyes and other products.


  • The plastic in auto batteries is recycled like any other plastic. In fact, most battery cases are black because the cases have already been made from recycled plastic.


“Keep Phoenix Beautiful is committed to helping AAA Arizona and their efforts to better our environment through the auto club’s Great Battery Roundup,” said Tom Waldeck, Executive Director for Keep Phoenix Beautiful. “It is extremely important to keep automotive batteries out of the landfills, garages, backyards, and storage sheds where they create environmental and safety hazards.”


Since its inception, AAA Arizona’s Great Battery Roundup has collected nearly 1,200 batteries and donated more than $4,700 to environmental charities, including Keep Phoenix Beautiful.


April also marks the 4th anniversary of the auto club’s Green Shop program. Green Shops earn certification from AAA Arizona and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) as a result of their commitment to voluntary pollution prevention and conservation measures recommended by the (ADEQ. The program was launched in 2005 by ADEQ, which has authorized AAA Arizona as its automotive certifying agent in the state. To date, 18 auto facilities across the state have received this designation.


        Motorists interested in finding a battery drop location can visit and click on the AAA Approved Auto Repair button. Auto batteries will be collected through Sunday, April 26. Motorists interested learning more about AAA’s Green Shop program, including a list of certified facilities, can visit


        AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to nearly 800,000 Arizona members.  Annually, AAA’s Emergency Road Service responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on the streets and highways of the state as well as providing insurance, travel, and financial services to AAA members and motorists. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA can be visited on the Internet at




NOTE: To speak to a battery professional that can explain and demonstrate safe removal and disposal of a battery or to schedule a tour of a AAA Green Shop, contact AAA Public Affairs.