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AAA Mid-Atlantic recycles car batteries for trees

aaaAAA Mid-Atlantic will once again fund tree plantings for the responsible recycling of old car batteries when a new one is replaced by AAA’s Emergency Roadside Service, or at a AAA Car Care Insurance Travel Center, through May 2.

Additionally, customers who visit any AAA retail store or AAA Car Care location within AAA Mid-Atlantic territory now through May 2 can also support a tree planting with a donation of $1 or more.  All trees will be planted in National Forests through the Arbor Day Foundation, a non-profit conservation and education organization.

For store locations, visit AAA.com/Locations.

While the Batteries for Trees program was on hiatus last year due to COVID-19, the 2019 initiative resulted in AAA supporting the planting of 6,000 trees, an increase of 36 percent from the 4,400 tree plantings in 2018.

This year’s program will expand to include tree plantings in recognition of AAA Associates for their green activities and volunteerism efforts throughout the month of April.  With this additional engagement, AAA’s tree planting goal for this year’s effort increases to 8,000 from the previous 6,000 goal.  Since 2011, AAA has contributed to the planting of nearly 20,000 trees.

“AAA and our Associates recognize the environmental importance in recycling used car batteries and in engaging in ‘green’ practices,” said Amber Zionkowski, Corporate Citizenship Manager.  “We are proud of these efforts that will help restore our earth, including the contribution to the greening of America through the planting of trees.”

Nearly 100 percent of a car battery can be recycled due to its three major components – lead, plastic, and sulfuric acid – which can be safely recycled.  Recycling reduces toxic waste and lessens the demand for original materials required for new products.  AAA Mid-Atlantic’s car battery supplier, Battery Service Solutions, collects and recycles all of the club’s spent batteries, and is a partner in this year’s Batteries for Trees campaign.

During 2020, battery-related issues were one of the key breakdown challenges for drivers, as their vehicles sat idle at home for long periods of time due to the pandemic.  AAA Mid-Atlantic replaced and recycled over 182,000 car batteries across their five-state and Washington, D.C. region in 2020, a 16 percent increase over 2019, while in Virginia, more than 34,000 batteries were recycled due to replacements, reflecting a 10 percent rise from 2019.

This year, as more drivers are starting up their engines, as a result of increased vaccinations, decreased pandemic restrictions, and now the warmer weather, car battery-related issues continue to be a top breakdown issue.  For first quarter of 2021, AAA Mid-Atlantic has replaced and recycled more than 48,000 car batteries, an increase of 28 percent over the same quarter in 2020. In Virginia, nearly 9,000 car batteries were recycled due to replacements during the first quarter of this year, a 27 percent increase from the same time frame in 2020.

For those drivers with battery-related issues who do not want to leave their home during the pandemic, AAA’s Mobile Battery Service can travel to a member’s location to test their batteries, replace those that are spent and recycle the old battery for them.  AAA’s roadside service drivers engage in COVID-19 safety measures while assisting drivers.  AAA Members can call 1-800-AAA-HELP (800-222-4357) for AAA’s Mobile Battery Service or visit AAA.com/Battery.


Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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