GM Design Center Makes Garbage Art (Material-Wise, Not Quality)

The design team at GM’s Warren Design Center may not use as much raw material as its counterparts in other parts of the company, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t reduce, reuse, and recycle, too.

GM’s “circular economy” allows it to reuse much of the garbage that would otherwise be going to landfills, saving the company money.

For example, tires from Millford Proving Grounds are shredded and used as air and water baffles in other cars, plastic caps are turned into radiator shrouds at the company’s Fort Wayne plant, and scrap aluminum from transmission shaving get reused in other transmissions.

The design team is, to put it kindly, a little arty, though. So they don’t just reuse their materials in other products. Instead, they’ve turned scrap pieces and other offshoots into an art project that’s now on display in the design center gallery. 

“Viewing the ‘Project Greenway’ art in the Design Center Gallery was inspirational — it was impressive to see how unwanted items were turned into unique pieces of art,” said Dane Parker, vice president, Sustainable Workplaces. “These types of projects highlight the amazing creativity, capability and commitment of our GM team members.”

But the art pieces are only made out of that which can’t be recycled. The department saves and reuses more than 13,000 lbs of clay each year. 

“Clay recycling is not only good for the environment, it’s great for bottom line as well,” said Sam Vitale, director, Creative Digital & Clay Sculpting. “We’ve saved the company nearly $1 million in just three years by reusing instead of purchasing new clay.”

Check out some of the art pieces below.

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