Ford Australia is aiming to halve the amount of paint sludge disposed to landfill.
Working in conjunction with Australian waste specialist Geocycle, the paint sludge from Ford’s Broadmeadows facility is being used as an alternative source of fuel in the cement making process.
The first shipment of sludge went to Geocycle’s processing facility in Dandenong, Melbourne in August and shipments of around 10 tonnes a month continue to leave the Ford site.
The prescribed sludge is a by-product produced from the paint process at Ford’s Broadmeadows plant. It was previously all being transported off-site for processing and eventual disposal to a licensed landfill.
Currently 56 per cent of Ford Broadmeadows’ solid waste is recycled and 44 per cent is disposed into landfill.
Once the recycling program is fully implemented Ford Australia expects to halve the amount of paint sludge being disposed to landfill.
“Ford around the world is committed to initiatives aimed at providing a better environment for consumers,” Ford Australia President and CEO, Bob 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.”
With Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week starting on November 7, Graziano said it was a good time to highlight some of the initiatives Ford Australia was undertaking to minimise waste and manage its material resources.
Chris Leon, Cement Australia CEO and Managing Director, said: “Through its wholly owned subsidiary Geocycle, Cement Australia has invested considerable time and resources into aligning its capabilities with the needs and strategies of industry and regulatory authorities.
“The commitment by Ford to work with Geocycle to achieve desirable environmental and business outcomes demonstrates that we are on the right path,” Leon said.
Geocycle is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cement Australia group, one of the nation’s leading suppliers of cement and related products and services. It is a waste specialist with a core business processing flammable and hazardous waste.
It uses a ‘mega blender’ that separates organic waste from metal and turns it into useable fuel for a Cement Australia kiln.
Ford Australia’s Environmental Path
Apart from the Geocycle recycling initiative, in 2010 Ford Australia undertook a $20 million environmental and technical upgrade of the Geelong Iron Casting Plant to make it more efficient.
Among the improvements were electricity efficiency gains, greater use of recycled stormwater and increased use of recycled shredded metal. The Geelong Iron Casting Plant has also increased its sand reclamation, supplying about 50 tonnes of spent foundry sands each week to be used in the manufacture of cement, significantly reducing sand landfill.
Ford Australia also recycles timber and polystyrene. Waste wood is converted into lengths suitable for pallet bases while waste polystyrene is shredded into fine particles that are then used as a fill agent in concrete retaining walls and concrete pavers.
Further details of Ford Australia’s environmental story can be found in its 2010/2011 Corporate & Social Responsibility Report at: www.ford.com.au and follow the links: About Ford>Community>Policies and reports>Corporate & Social Responsibility Report
For more information about Geocycle, go to: www.geocycle.com.au