Ford’s Research & Engineering Center is now landfill free, helping the automaker achieve its goal to trim global waste-to-landfill by 40 percent per vehicle produced from 2011 to 2016. The campus now diverts 230,000 pounds of waste from landfills annually.
The R&E Center sits on 720 acres in Dearborn, Michigan near Ford World Headquarters. With more than 12,000 employees working out of 34 buildings including research labs, design studios, and a major data center, the campus is much like a small city. The company says paring waste streams will allow Ford to be more efficient while helping to improve the environment.
The nearly three-year effort to achieve landfill-free status started by identifying various waste streams and categorizing them from smallest to largest. Waste managers and environmental engineers then worked to find creative solutions to avoid using landfills while not incurring additional cost to manage the waste. The move also included recycling training for campus employees.
Ford has reduced the amount of global waste sent to landfills by 50 percent per vehicle over the last five years. Thirty Ford facilities no longer send any waste to landfills; this includes all Canadian and Mexican manufacturing plants.