AAA Chicago to recycle old car batteries in honor of Earth Day

AAA Chicago to recycle old car batteries in honor of Earth Day


AURORA—AAA Chicago will observe Earth Day, April 22, by asking motorists in Illinois and northern Indiana to scour garages, backyards and storage sheds for used lead-acid vehicle batteries, and bring them to local Approved Auto Repair shops for recycling part of a AAA Battery Service initiative called “The Great Battery Roundup.”

“The impact of vehicle maintenance on the environment can be an overlooked aspect of responsible vehicle ownership,” said AAA Chicago’s Senior Vice President of Member Automotive Services David Bufka. “With an estimated 230 million vehicles on the road in North America, the proper use and disposal of vehicle batteries, tires and various types of automotive fluids are crucial to a healthy environment.”

To protect the environment, as well as human health and safety, motorists will be able to bring used automobile and marine lead-acid batteries to any of the club’s Approved Auto Repair facilities for recycling.

“Nearly 99 percent of a vehicle battery can be recycled and used again without removing new lead, or other natural resources from the environment,” said Bufka. “Unfortunately, more than 5 million vehicle batteries are not returned for recycling each year.”

Many of these batteries are illegally disposed of in dumps and water sources, but many more are simply sitting in a forgotten corner of someone’s property where they could contaminate soil and ground water, explode in a fire or become a source of lead poisoning to humans and animals.

AAA Chicago requests that consumers wear gloves and safety glasses when handling batteries, keep them upright and place batteries in a sturdy box or plastic container when transporting them for recycling. If the battery case is cracked or leaking, be especially careful to choose a leak-proof container. Do 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.

In 2002, the AAA Battery Service recycled more than 85,000 batteries in the course of performing this new service. The AAA/CAA Great Battery Roundup, held annually in participating clubs in North America in honor of Earth Day, brought in some 12,000 additional batteries that same year.

To find the nearest Approved Auto Repair facility to recycle your battery, visit, or call (866) YOUR-AAA. The local participating AAA facility in Rockford is Rockford Radiator, 2429 S. Alpine Road, (815) 398-9871.

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