A bright spot from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico comes today from Chevrolet, which announced the automaker is using components from oil-soaked booms in the Volt. General Motors says that about 100 miles of the material will be converted for use in the car.
The recycled booms will be converted to plastic resin that will be used to build air-deflectors around the Volt's radiator. A quarter of that material will come from the recycled boom material and another 25 percent from recycled tires.
"Creative recycling is one extension of GM's overall strategy to reduce its environmental impact," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Environment, Energy and Safety policy. "We reuse and recycle material by-products at our 76 landfill-free facilities every day. This is a good example of using this expertise and applying it to a greater magnitude."
GM combined its expertise with other companies to get the boom material through the recycling process, from spinning the booms until they were dry and free of all oil and wastewater to mixing the resin with other plastic compounds to produce the final product.
If, by now, you're thinking, "Why should this recycling effort be restricted to the Volt," Chevy has thought of that. GM figures enough material will be gathered that other models can use the components.