Corvette paint chips to fuel TVA plant

Paint chip waste from the General Motors Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Ky., will soon help fuel a TVA coal-fired power plant.

The project, dubbed "From Vettes to Watts," will take 360 tons of paint bits from overspray a year about a ton a day and burn them along with coal at a plant about 50 miles northeast of Bowling Green.

"This is a great environmental recycling success story for Kentucky," said Greg Nunley, manager for the Tennessee Valley Authority's Paradise Plant.

"We will be keeping tons of paint out of the landfill and will burn less coal to produce power for consumers in the Tennessee Valley."

Previously, the paint bits were shipped to a landfill in Russellville, Ky.

"The 'Vettes to Watts' initiative will allow GM to maintain its commitment to reducing the amount of landfilled waste produced by the Bowling Green plant," GM Plant Manager Paul Graham said.

TVA plans to get the necessary Kentucky state permits and begin a test burn of the paint in early 2009. The paint, once dried at the plant, contains no volatile organic compounds and is classified as a non-hazardous waste, according to TVA.

TVA burns alternative fuels, including tires and wood waste, at other electricity-generating plants.