Creative Recycling: Bats Find Homes in Chevy Byproducts
General Motors found that when processed, the adhesive can serve as a stalactite in artificial bat caves.
International bat experts from such non-governmental organizations as Bat Conservation International and the Organization for Bat Conservation are reviewing the application.
White-nose syndrome, a deadly fungus appearing on the muzzle and other parts of hibernating bats, has killed more than 5.7 million bats to date in the US and Canada. Bats with the disease act abnormally and wake from hibernation too frequently, leading to death.
There is no cure for white-nose syndrome, but remedies like nontoxic fungicides and artificial bat caves show promise.
Bats contribute to the overall health of the environment. A single bat eats up to 5,000 insects a night, which means farmers can use fewer pesticides. They are also pollinators that help repopulate plants and maintain forests.
Artificial stalactites give hibernating bats more surface area from which to hang, thus spreading them out around the cave.
Robots that apply a structural adhesive that helps join Corvette body parts are purged regularly to keep the adhesive applicator clean and free of dried material. Using this stalactite-shaped dried gunk also avoids sending it to landfills.
Bat projects have been a part of GM for several years. The company also creates bat houses out of scrap Chevrolet Volt battery covers that can hold up to 150 little brown bats each.
Earlier this month GM announced that 11 more of its facilities achieved landfill-free status, bringing the company’s running to 122 manufacturing and non-manufacturing operations spanning Asia, Europe and South and North America that recycle, reuse or convert to energy all waste from daily operations.
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