DEARBORN, Mich. April 24, 2012
- North America
- North America
- Ford is exploring novel technologies, such as using paint solids to generate energy, to reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfills
Ford plans to further reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfills by 10 percent per vehicle by the end of the year – building on existing efforts that have cut global waste by 100 million pounds (44 percent) in the last five years.
If successful, that means the company would generate about 20 pounds of waste per vehicle on a global basis – roughly the weight of one tire.
Ford develops such targets as part of its annual environmental business planning process that also recently led to establishment of a global cross-functional team spanning several divisions to review waste generation more holistically.
Between 2007 and 2011, Ford globally cut the amount of waste it sends to landfills by 39 percent per vehicle – from 37 pounds to just under 23 pounds.
Flat Rock, Mich.
Ford began a pilot program in 2011 with a local energy supplier at AutoAlliance, where paint solids – a material often sent to landfills – are sent to the energy supplier and used as a raw material in its process to generate electricity.
The reprocessed paint solids are then dewatered to increase their energy value and sent to a local power plant. This is an innovative way to keep material out of the landfill and use it as a raw material in another process. The project is being replicated at several other Ford assembly plants.
MPG and its waste management partner teamed up to take a fresh look at the operation and came up with a winning combination of recycling measures and new solar-powered technology that can provide the power required of trash-handling equipment.
The new energy-efficient compactor, powered by solar panels, compresses the waste much more efficiently than the previous compactor. The compacted trash is then sent to a waste-to-energy facility where it is converted into power. This compaction reduces the number of shipments and thus the fuel consumed for its transportation. Coupled with previous efforts to recycle all of the site’s cardboard, paper, wood and plastic, this eliminates the need to dispose of any waste in a landfill.
Other examples of Ford’s efforts to reduce waste can be found at numerous facilities:
- Chicago Stamping Plant, with its waste management partner, has established a Blue Bag recycling program in which recyclable materials are collected throughout the plant. Instead of placing these materials in the general trash, they are placed in designated collection bins so the materials are recycled and not sent to landfills. Recently, more than 3,000 pounds of plastic was diverted from landfills through this program
- Kentucky Truck Plant and its waste management partner have established a Single Stream Recycling program where recyclable materials are sent to a sorting facility for reuse and recycling, which has reduced compacted trash sent to landfills by 39 percent
- Ohio Assembly Plant sponsored a poster contest for local elementary school students. Plant personnel voted on the winning poster by placing recyclable plastic bottles in bins labeled with the posters. The bin with the most bottles was the contest winner and the winning poster was used to label all the bins in the plant. This effort resulted in an additional 16 percent reduction in waste sent to landfills
Ford’s waste reduction efforts are the latest example of how the company remains committed to sustainability – from the materials used in vehicles to the plants in which they are built.
In December, Ford announced plans to reduce the amount of water it uses in the manufacture of each vehicle 30 percent by 2015, compared with the amount used per vehicle in 2009.
Earth Day shredded money
About Ford Motor Company
SOURCE Ford Motor Company