Greening the aftermarket

The mobile air conditioning industry has always been in the forefront of environmentally sound service practices based on the efforts to recover and recycle refrigerant and properly repair leaking mobile A/C systems. Other segments of the aftermarket are making good faith efforts as well. Here is a report on how car batteries are being recycled.

A car battery can lead a long and productive life, but sooner or later, this important part of the vehicle’s starting and charging system will need to be replaced. When the time comes to say goodbye to your car battery, rest assured that it’s being recycled by 98 percent of automotive aftermarket companies, including auto repair shops, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and jobbers, according to a study by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).

As a result of these efforts, an estimated 65 million automotive batteries were recycled in 2010, equal to 1.5 billion pounds of lead, according to AAIA’s Aftermarket Factbook.

“Battery recycling is just one of many ways automotive aftermarket companies contribute to a cleaner environment,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “These businesses have been ‘green’ long before being ‘green’ was mainstream.”

More than 95 percent of an automotive battery can be recycled. The lead, plastic, acid and sulfuric acid found in batteries are reclaimed and reused in the manufacturing of new batteries.

The lead is cleaned and melted and used in the production of new lead plates and other parts for new batteries. The plastic is cleaned and melted into pellets used to manufacturer new battery cases. Old battery acid can be neutralized into water, which after treatment, cleaning and testing, can be released into the public sewer system, or it can be converted into sodium sulfate and used in laundry detergent, glass and textiles.

In addition to recycling batteries, automotive aftermarket companies recycle tires, used oil and oil filters, parts cleaning solvents, scrap metal, plastics, cardboard and paper, a/c refrigerant, dunnage and wood pallets.

The study is part of AAIA’s initiative to illustrate the automotive aftermarket industry’s widespread efforts on behalf of the environment. The information is presented in AAIA’s “Driving Toward a Cleaner Environment: The Automotive Aftermarket’s Green Story,” and in the short video, AAIA Green. For more information, visit


The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.

You can E-mail us at or visit to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.


About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
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