GM Recycles 227 Miles of Oil-Soaked Gulf Spill Booms Into Chevy Volt Parts

General Motors has recycled 227 miles of oil-soaked booms from the BP oil spill to make car parts for its flagship plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt.

The initiative, which GM announced last December, has more than doubled its original recycling goal of 100,000 pounds. The automaker says it recycled 215,000 pounds of booms – enough to make a production year’s worth of air-deflecting baffles.

The Volt’s baffles are made of 25% recycled boom material, 25% recycled tires, 25% recycled packaging material, and 25% post-consumer recycled plastics and polymers. The recycled tires and packaging material are diverted from other GM facilities.

GM worked with Heritage Environmental, Mobile Fluid Recovery, and GDC, Inc., to devise a process for refining the oil collected in the booms and recycling the material into car parts.

Before GM began the project, the only options for the contaminated boom material were disposing of it in a landfill or burning it for energy, the company says.

"GM decided to offer assistance by collecting boom material from the Gulf coast until there was no longer a need," says John Bradburn, GM’s manager of waste-reduction efforts. "We’re in the process of identifying other areas where the – now that we have a sufficient quantity for the Volt."

In 2010, GM facilities worldwide recycled 92% of the waste they generated. GM uses recycled and bio-based materials such as plastic bottles, blue jeans, cardboard, carpet, tires, kenaf fibers, balsa wood and soy in its vehicles.

Earlier this week, GM announced that it is boosting production of the Chevy Volt to 60,000 units in 2012 – up from 16,000 in 2011. GM expects 45,000 of them will be sold in the US.

The Volt launched in select US states at the end of 2010, and will be available nationwide and in Europe, China and Canada by the end of this year.  

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Comments on “GM Recycles 227 Miles of Oil-Soaked Gulf Spill Booms Into Chevy Volt Parts”

  1. Sam Garst

    GM is all hype and no show about hte Volt. I’ve had a downpayment on a Volt Since November 2009. As of 6/8/11 no word when if every GM plans to sell the car in WA State. My wife just purchased a Leaf. I may have to cancel and move on.

    GM advertises, issues press, pats themselves on the back. If only they really wanted to actually sell the vehicle.

    Reply

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