The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is asking Ontarians to search their garages and storage places for discarded, toxic, lead- acid batteries. CAA clubs in Ontario are holding the second Great Battery Roundup, in which people are encouraged to drop-off their spent batteries at participating locations. “About 95% of all lead-acid batteries are recycled annually," says Carey-Ann Greenham, media and public relations specialist, CAA Central Ontario. "But the CAA estimates that 400,000 spent batteries never make it to the recycling depot. Batteries may be in a forgotten corner of someone’s property. Many of these batteries could contaminate soil and ground water." CAA’s Great Battery Roundup provides people with a convenient and safe alternative to illegally disposing of batteries in dumps and water sources. Greenham adds that CAA members have expressed their concerns about preserving the environment. “CAA is taking a leading role to help preserve the health of the environment because of the auto club’s member-driven philosophy,” she said. “A recent national CAA member-opinion survey showed 90% of our members surveyed felt that CAA should be moderately to highly involved in environmental issues,” said Greenham. The organization reminds people to exercise care when handling batteries. Wear gloves and safety glasses when handling batteries. Keep batteries upright and place them in a cardboard 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, and avoid smoking near the battery. Do not expose a battery to an open flame, and make certain it will not shift and tip over in a moving vehicle. Spent batteries can be dropped off at selected CAA-approved auto repair facilities during the week of Monday Sept. 30 to Saturday Oct. 5. Details are available at CAA Central Ontario’s Web site at www.central.on.caa.ca, under "Great Battery Roundup" icon or people can call 416-221-4300 or 1-800-268-3750 to learn more about the program.