As we celebrate Earth Day today, AAA Mid-Atlantic is honoring the occasion by offering a week-long auto battery recycling program for members and non-members.

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Spokesperson Tracy Noble says the auto club partners with the Arbor Day Foundation each year to provide tree cards for those who replace and recycle old car, motorcycle and lawn mower batteries through the auto club's recycling program and honors them by having a tree planted in a National Forest. "We purchase a set number of cards. This year it is 2,000 and 2,000 trees are guaranteed to be planted," said Noble.

Nationally, AAA has recycled more than eight million automotive batteries and continues to promote the environmental importance of recycling of this essential automotive part since improperly stored or disposed of car batteries create health, fire and safety hazards for people, animals and the environment, according to a press release from AAA Mid-Atlantic.

"Batteries are 80 to 90 percent made of recyclable materials," Noble said, adding, "So these are things that can be reused and that we can get out of the environment, so that they're not just sitting in somebody's garage, sitting in somebody's backyard, possibly adding to contamination." Mercury and lead in batteries can cause soil contamination she said.

Drop offs can be made at AAA Care Care Insurance and Travel Centers at 1199, Route 37 East in Toms River, 251 Route 35 North in Eatontown and 4010 Dearborn Circle in Mount Laurel.

As a benefit to members, AAA's Mobile Battery Service travels to a member's location to test their batteries, replace those that are spent, and recycle the old battery.

AAA Members can call 866-AAA-AUTO (866-222-2886) for AAA's Mobile Battery Service or go to http://midatlantic.aaa.com/Automotive/Mobile Battery.