GM Recycles Gulf Disaster Oil Booms for Chevrolet Volt

GM has managed to make something good from the ecological disaster that was the massive BP gulf oil spill. It is recycling oil-soaked plastic booms from the Gulf disaster into parts for the Chevrolet Volt.

According to GM, recycling the booms will result in the production of more than 100,000 pounds of plastic resin for the vehicle components, eliminating an equal amount of waste that would otherwise have been incinerated or sent to landfills.

The parts, which deflect air around the vehicle’s radiator, are comprised of 25 percent boom material and 25 percent recycled tires from GM’s Milford Proving Ground vehicle test facility. The remaining is a mixture of post-consumer recycled plastics and other polymers.

The work in the Gulf is expected to last at least two more months and GM will continue to assist suppliers in collecting booms until the need no longer exists. The automaker anticipates enough material will be gathered that it can be used as components in other Chevrolet models.

“This was purely a matter of helping out,” said John Bradburn, manager of GM’s waste-reduction efforts, in a news release. “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. We knew we could identify a beneficial reuse of this material given our experience.”

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