Ten years ago, Ford Motor Company started the Core Recovery Program as a way to minimize the amount of vehicle waste sitting in landfills. The program collects, refurbishes, and re-processes parts collected by dealers around the world.
Due to advancements in the design of newer car parts, many of Ford’s recycling guidelines became obsolete. For example, the headlights on newer Ford vehicles can run as long as two feet wide with expensive resin coatings and complex wiring systems, and bumpers can be five to six feet long. Ford made a few changes to its recycling program to accommodate this, and two years later has salvaged more than 62,000 bumpers and 26,000 headlights that would have otherwise gone to landfills.
Ford also recycles battery trays, carpets, and underbody shields, which are broken down into pellets that help reduce the amount of virgin materials used in new parts. The company estimates that it has kept 120 million pounds of car parts out of landfills since the start of the program.
Not only does this help to significantly reduce waste and improve the company’s environmental credentials, but this program has also become quite the money making opportunity. Reducing the amount of new materials purchased has allowed Ford to hire more workers for the recycling operations, which may become an integral part of manufacturing as companies look to save money and improve their environmental impact. It is a hugely profitable leap to take, especially for companies struggling to make a profit during trying economic times.
Image CC licensed by CC-BY-CarImages: Ford cars