During the entire month of April, AAA Oregon/Idaho Approved Automotive Repair facilities will accept, at no cost, used automotive or marine lead-acid batteries and send them to plants where they can be recycled into new batteries.

'Used vehicle batteries are potential fire and safety hazards because of their lead and sulfuric acid content. Some of these old batteries are illegally disposed of in dumpsters, or are simply placed in family garages, yards or storage sheds where they could leak and contaminate the soil and groundwater, explode and cause a fire, or become a source of lead poisoning to humans and animals,' says AAA Oregon/Idaho AAR Coordinator Earl Baker.

Car batteries contain 18 pounds of lead and a pound of sulfuric acid, making them extremely hazardous. About 95 percent of the lead in spent lead-acid batteries is returned for recycling annually, but an estimated five million batteries are not recycled. Baker says, 'We want to encourage people to take the extra and responsible step of searching the areas where these old batteries might be stored and bring them to our AAR facilities for proper disposal.'

Anyone wanting to recycle old batteries should follow basic safety procedures:

* Wear gloves and safety glasses when handling batteries

* Keep the batteries upright and transport them in a sturdy box or plastic container

* Make sure the batteries do not tip over in a moving vehicle

* If the battery is cracked or leaking, place it in a leak-proof container

* Do not smoke near the battery or expose it to an open flame

Almost 200 AAA Oregon/Idaho AAR facilities are Great Battery Round-up drop-off sites For a complete list of participating facilities, call 800-AAA-HELP or go to and visit the automotive service site.

Sites in Lake Oswego include:

* Jeeper's … It's Erick-son's, 101 Foothill Road, 503-635-4116.

* Vic's Auto Center, 15880 S.W. Boones Ferry Road, 503-636-7896.

* Todd's Import Auto-motive, 17607 Pilkington Road, 503-635-1339.

The Great Battery Roundup is one of the activities organized by AAA and coordinated by AAA Approved Auto Repair shops. Approved Auto Repair facilities must meet AAA requirements that include customer satisfaction, trained technicians, and proper tools and equipment.

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