Speaking at CIWM’s annual conference in London this week, Ford Europe’s legal compliance manager Mark Dredge said that the company was committed to reducing waste to landfill by 70% over five years across its European operations, but needed to overcome “infrastructure limitations” in order to achieve this.

“We want to follow the waste hierarchy – is zero waste to landfill feasible?” he questioned. “Robust data is essential … we are seeking partnerships with the waste industry to help us here.”

Ford is currently running trials at its Dagenham plant in Essex to recover oil from its grinding sludges – one of its main waste streams. Dredge said the process aimed to recover up to 95% of the oil and if proved successful, would be rolled out across the manufacturer’s UK operations.

The company is also looking to recover its paint sludges, which are currently sent to cement kilns or for incineration. Dredge said the main aim was to “get off the waste escalator” through implementing better prevention measures.

He also hinted there would be co-investment opportunities if the right partners were found.

“We don’t want to be stockpiling our waste or sending it to a waste transfer station and claim we’re zero waste to landfill – we are looking to invest in our own recovery infrastructure,” he said.

Maxine Perella

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