Back in December of 2010, GM announced they’d be recycling 100 miles of oil booms from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill for use in the Chevy Volt. The company has now announced they’ve more than doubled that number and have officially repurposed 227 miles of oil booms — thats 212,500 lbs. saved from landfills — for use in an entire year of production of Chevy Volt air deflectors.
When they announced the initiative, GM officials said they would plan to acquire the spent oil booms until there was no longer a need to collect them, so, that’s what they did. Beyond the 227 miles of oil booms they’ve recycled into Volt parts, they’ve got more on hand for which John Bradburn, GM’s manager of waste-reduction efforts noted they are currently “identifying other areas where the material we have left can be used – potentially in our plants – now that we have a sufficient quantity for the Volt.”
While recycling the booms, the oil left in them was removed and used for energy and the water was separated and purified for use in the plants. By repurposing the booms GM managed to save 149 tons of CO2-equivalent emissions from entering our air, purified 29,000 gallons of water and outside of the boom program recycled 92 percent of waste in their factories worldwide last year. “We applaud GM for moving beyond traditional corporate responsibility efforts and finding a way to turn a portion of the waste from one of the worst environmental challenges in our nation’s history into something valuable,” said Corey Lambrecht, president of Earth911, Inc., host of the nation’s largest recycling directory.
All photos provided by GM