Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ford Australia: Doing its bit and sending a strong and positive message

The paint sludge from Ford’s Broadmeadows plant is being used by Dandenong-based waste specialist Geocycle, which uses the sludge as an alternative source of fuel in its cement making process.

Geocycle has recycled around 10 tonnes of paint sludge each month since the program commenced in August.

Paint sludge is a by-product of the vehicle painting process at the Broadmeadows assembly plant. Before the Geocycle partnership was formed, Ford sent all the sludge offsite for processing and disposal in landfill.

Ford Australia says it will halve the amount of sludge it sends to landfill when the recycling program is fully implemented. Australia’s second-largest vehicle manufacturer currently recycles 56 per cent of the solid waste produced at its Broadmeadows facility.

Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano explained the Geocycle program was another environmental initiative by Ford, following last year’s $20 million upgrade of the Geelong Iron Casting Plant to make it more efficient.

“Ford around the world is committed to initiatives aimed at providing a better environment for consumers,” Mr Graziano said.
“Ford Australia is part of that process and we continue to seek out solutions with companies like Geocycle to minimise our impact on the environment.”

Ford's efforts at the Geelong Iron Casting Plant deserve a very honourable mention on the sustainability and recycling front.  Here's what they are doing:

• An electricity efficiency gain of more than 5,100 kW hours a day, obtained by reducing furnace idle times;

• Increased use of recycled stormwater to 77,000 litres a week, or 3.7 million litres a year – around 20 per cent of all water used at the Plant will be from recycled stormwater, up from the current 5 per cent;

• Increased use of recycled shredded metal, increasing from 32 per cent to 70 per cent – 67 tonnes of metal a day will be recycled, or almost 15,000 tonnes a year; and

• Sand reclamation to increase to almost 100 per cent by selling around 138 tonnes of surplus sand each week for cement production, reducing sand landfill requirements to zero.

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