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Ford Closed-Loop Recycling

Ford Closed-Loop System Recycles up to 20M lbs. of Aluminum per Month

Ford Closed-Loop RecyclingFord recycles as much as 20 million pounds of aluminum stamping scrap per month using a closed-loop recycling system at its Dearborn Truck Plant, which builds F-150 trucks.

The automaker says this is the equivalent of more than 30,000 F-150 bodies in the largest configuration — a SuperCrew body including doors, plus hood, tailgate and 6.5-foot cargo box.

Using aluminum instead of steel in new automobile construction is the best way to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, according to a study by the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Lab.

Recycled aluminum avoids 95 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with primary aluminum production and requires 95 percent less energy than primary aluminum production, says Novelis, which supplies the recycled aluminum and the closed-loop recycling system for the truck.

Weight savings from aluminum alloy helps F-150 reduce its lifetime emissions compared to the previous steel-body version. Between 30 percent and 40 percent of a typical aluminum coil is turned into scrap in the stamping process. This is recycled into new metal for the truck using the closed-loop system.

According to Automotive Science Group, the 2016 Ford F-150 has the smallest life-cycle carbon footprint of any full-size truck in the North American market.

Ford’s closed-loop recycling system has also helped its North American headquarter facilities send zero waste to landfill, a milestone achieved earlier this year. The company says the facilities — located in Dearborn, Michigan, Oakville, Ontario, and Santa Fe, Mexico — divert more than 240,000 pounds of waste from landfills annually.

Ford has set a goal to trim global waste to landfill by 40 percent on a per vehicle basis between 2011 and 2016.

Earlier this month Ford announced plans to transform its 60-plus-year-old Dearborn campus into a high-tech, high-efficiency headquarters. The project will take 10 years to complete and cost upwards of $1.2 billion, according to some estimates.

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