Ford RougeUS – The six facilities at Ford’s Dearborn site in Michigan have joined 68 others worldwide which send zero manufacturing waste to landfill. It is the OEM’s largest landfill-free complex and will save 14m pounds of waste per year.

“With 16m sq.ft of factory floor space and approximately 7,000 employees it was a challenge, but we’ve succeeded in finding solutions for our manufacturing waste streams,” commented Gary Johnson, Ford North America manufacturing vice-president. One difficulty was the high number of facilities at Ford Rouge, which makes waste management more complex than average.

At Dearborn Engine Plant, Ford has installed a briquetter to form metal swarf into bricks which can be recycled. During this process, coolant oil is squeezed out and then reused. Another solution implemented at Rouge is the reduction of plastic rivet strips into small pieces to enable them to be recycled. Meanwhile, the closed-loop system introduced two years ago recycles up to 20m pounds of aluminium stamping scrap each month, equating to 30,000 F-150 bodies.

“In addition, the plant has one of the largest living roofs in the world, which helps us reduce energy usage by keeping the plant warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer,” said Johnson.