BETHESDA, Md. (Aug. 31, 2005) — The board of the Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association (AMRA) has adopted a policy that all used lead wheel weights collected by its member companies should be recycled through the service provider's designated supplier or an approved recycler.
AMRA, which called this policy a “first of its kind,” said that while awaiting pickup, all used wheel weights should be stored in containers suitable for the purpose. The association added that “providing used wheel weights to anyone other than the approved vendor/recycler is prohibited.”
The lead weights generally range in size from a half-ounce to 5 ounces.
The group noted that simply discarding into the trash lead wheel weights and other components containing lead introduces lead into the environment once it's landfilled, where the lead leaches into the soil and affects groundwater.
AMRA represents automotive repair shops in North America, including about 62,000 service bays where tires are installed on an average of eight vehicles per day. Assuming that each vehicle gets at least two new tires—with an average of two spent weights per tire and an average weight of two ounces—the AMRA said its member service facilities account for, “very conservatively, 248,000 pounds of recyclable lead per day or over 39,000 tons of recyclable lead per year that won't be ending up in landfills—or worse.”
The association said in order to help its member companies that have no designated lead wheel weight supplier or approved vendor, it has made arrangements with Interstate Battery System of America to pick up reclaimed weights from AMRA members' facilities. To arrange for pickup, contact Ronnie Fulton at AMRA's Bethesda headquarters, at (301) 364-4955 or, via e-mail, at [email protected]