Waste Management

Ford’s environmental goals include reducing the amount and toxicity of manufacturing-related wastes and ultimately eliminating the disposal of waste in landfills. Manufacturing by-products include both hazardous and nonhazardous wastes. In 2013, we introduced a new plan to reduce waste sent to landfill by 40 percent on a per-vehicle basis between 2011 and 2016 globally. We have already reduced global per-vehicle waste to landfill by 40 percent from 2007 to 2011. In 2012, Ford facilities globally sent approximately 50.6 metric tons of waste to landfill, a reduction of 17.4 percent from 2011.

In 2012, Ford facilities globally generated approximately 42,000 metric tons of hazardous waste, which is comparable to our 2011 hazardous waste-generation levels. We reduced hazardous waste on a per-vehicle basis by 2.6 percent compared to 2011 and by 19.6 percent over the last five years. Ford has chosen to target eliminating the landfill of hazardous waste first, because this provides the quickest and most cost-effective benefits to human health and the environment.

Ford’s new five-year global waste reduction plan details how the company will lessen its environmental impact

5 Key Actions

  1. Invest: Continue investing in new technologies that minimize waste
  2. Identify: Identify the five largest volume sources of waste- to-landfill at each facility
  3. Partner: Partner with suppliers to increase use of eco-friendly packaging
  4. Standardize: Standardize how waste is tracked and sorted at each point
  5. Enable: Enable local plants to affect waste management change

Current waste mix

  • Wastewater sludge
  • Recovered paint solids
  • Packaging waste
  • Used oils and waste solvent
  • Grinding swarf (metallic particles, abrasives and oils)
  • Other wastes

Fun fact

Van Dyke Transmission became a zero waste-to-landfill plant, helping cut the amount of waste-to-landfill generated per vehicle globally to 20.3 pounds in 2012


Ford cut the amount of waste-to-landfill generated per vehicle globally from 38 pounds in 2007 to 22.7 pounds in 2011


By 2016, Ford will reduce pounds of waste-to-landfill generated per vehicle globally to 13.4 pounds

Year Waste-to-landfill, lbs
2011 22.7
2012 20.3
2013 18.3
2014 16.5
2015 14.8
2016 13.4

We will reach our new waste-reduction goal and continue to build on our past success in waste reduction through many programs, including:

  • Identifying the five largest-volume waste-to-landfill streams at each plant, developing plans to reduce each and tracking progress
  • Minimizing waste by leveraging the Ford production system – a continuously improving, flexible and disciplined common global production system that encompasses a set of principles and processes to drive lean manufacturing
  • Improving waste-sorting procedures to make recycling and reuse easier
  • Investing in new technologies that minimize waste, such as dry-machining
  • Expanding programs that deal with managing specific kinds of waste, such as metallic particles from the grinding process and paint sludge

The following Ford facilities have achieved zero waste to landfill:

  • JMC Transit
  • Chennai Assembly
  • Lio Ho Assembly
  • Genk Assembly
  • Cologne Assembly
  • Saarlouis Assembly
  • Essex Engine
  • Van Dyke Transmission
  • Cologne Engine
  • Cologne Die Cast
  • Cologne Catarko Forging
  • Chennai Engine
  • JMC Engine
  • Windsor Engine
  • Ford Thailand Manufacturing

Some other successes of our waste-reduction efforts in 2012 include the following:

  • We have recycled 710 tons of Recovered Paint Solids (RPS) from the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, and the Chicago Assembly Plant in Chicago, Illinois, since early 2010. An estimated 710,000 KWh of energy – enough energy to power 87 residential homes for a year – were produced as a direct result of this program. The RPS replaced approximately 426 tons of coal at DTE, a local energy company.
  • Our Broadmeadows Assembly Plant achieved a 35 percent decrease in waste to landfill, in part through recycling wastewater treatment plant “filter cake” and phosphate sludge.
  • Our Cuautitlan Assembly Plant achieved a 59 percent decrease in waste to landfill in part by implementing an aggressive program for the identification, segregation and recovery of different plastic wastes; 100 percent recycling of cardboard; and changing other waste streams from landfill to co-processing disposal.
  • Our Kentucky Truck Plant achieved a 22 percent decrease in waste to landfill in part by implementing a single-stream recycling program that resulted in almost 1 million pounds of recyclables being diverted from landfill disposal.
  • Our Lima Engine Plant achieved a 55 percent decrease in waste to landfill in part by recycling eight-foot-long, 350-pound fabric coolant filters.
  • Our Livonia Transmission Plant achieved a 74 percent decrease in waste to landfill in part by disposing of some waste through waste-to-energy programs.
  • Our Pacheco Assembly Plant achieved a 78 percent decrease in waste to landfill by implementing improved waste segregation methods.
  • Our Camacari Plant achieved a 44 percent decrease in waste to landfill, and 100 percent of organic waste is now composted.


Download Summary Report

Ford’s 2012/13 Sustainability Report is summarized in this 8-page downloadable document.

Visit our Downloads page for this report in full or as separate sections along with supplementary publications.