We describe a simple method for the scalable synthesis of three-dimensional, elastic, and recyclable multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) based light weight (density <1 g cm(-3)) bucky-aerogels (BAGs) that are capable of efficiently absorbing non-polar solvents and separating oil-in-water emulsions. Our facile synthesis involves the self-assembly of MWCNTs and carbon fibers into a multilayered, highly porous, and hierarchical structure that can be easily flexed, compressed, or burnt without any noticeable changes in its structure and absorption capacity. The BAG surface absorbs nonpolar solvents efficiently up to similar to 20 times its own weight due to its superhydrophobic nature arising from the presence of MWCNTs. Furthermore, BAGs exhibit excellent resilience to impact by recovering more than 70% of the deformation. The energy dissipated by BAGs at 80% compressive strain is in the order of 500 kJ m(-3), which is nearly 50 times more than the energy dissipated by commercial foams with similar densities.