December 21, 2010

GM Recycling Oil-Soaked Boom For Chevrolet Volt

General Motors said on Monday that the boom used to help clean up the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is being recycled into plastic parts for the plug-in Chevrolet Volt electric car.

GM and its suppliers are recovering the protective boom laid across 100 miles of coastline in Alabama and Louisiana.

The boom is being processed to remove the oil and then shipped up to Indiana, where it will be recycled into over 100,000 pounds of plastic resin pellets.

That resin will be mixed with recycled tires and used to make parts that shield the car's radiator.

"This was purely a matter of helping out," said John Bradburn, manager of GM's waste-reduction efforts.

"If sent to a landfill, these materials would have taken hundreds of years to begin to break down, and we didn't want to see the spill further impact the environment," he added.

"We knew we could identify a beneficial reuse of this material given our experience."

GM said it recycles materials at every stage of the product lifecycle, integrating recycled materials into its vehicles and recycling 90 percent of the waste produced at its global facilities.

About 76 GM facilities around the world are "landfill-free," which means that all of their manufacturing waste is recycled or used to produce energy.


Image Caption: Oil on boom at South Pass of the Mississippi Delta, near Venice. Credit: BP


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