Ford Volunteer Corps, Green IT partner for annual Green Days Event
DEARBORN - It doesn’t take long for today’s cutting-edge computers and cell phones to turn into tomorrow’s outdated clutter in the corner of a basement or garage. Dumping those old TVs or laptops into the trash could add hazardous waste to the environment and contaminate ground water, unless you haul them to the annual Ford Green IT Green Days recycling event.
More than 800 Ford employees loaded up their Explorers, Fusions and F-150s with old electronic items and dropped them off at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn. A steady stream of Ford trucks, cars and SUVs kept about 60 Ford volunteers busy unloading and organizing stacks of computer towers, monitors and audio gear.
“All of the equipment goes through a huge shredder and gets separated out - plastics, glass, metals,” said Dan Skielnik, network engineer, Ford IT. “It’s 100% reused or recycled.”
“Everything will be recycled and reclaimed,” explained Todd Palmer, Motor City Computer. “It keeps hazardous materials out of landfills.”
Ford employees filled 61 pallets with 63,000 pounds of electronic e-waste during the 7th annual Green Days collection that helps the Better World Ford Accelerated Action Day Go Further to clean up the environment. Computers will be scrapped to recover any gold, silver and copper and hard drives are securely erased to Department of Defense (DOD) standards. Materials such as glass and plastic can be recycled and reused, and any lead, mercury or nickel will be disposed of safely.
“It’s a beautiful day. We’re having a couple of laughs and doing something great for the community,” said Cedric Floyd, logistics analyst, Ford MP&L. "Some of the stuff you just can’t believe. I saw an old Apple I had in elementary school. It’s great that this doesn’t end up in a landfill.”
“Just looking through the cell phones is a trip down memory lane,” said Mike Stafiej, logistics analyst, Ford MP&L. “As a company we want to do whatever we can to help the environment.”
The sunny weather for Green Days turned stormy for the Ford Accelerated Action Day and many outdoor Ford volunteer projects were rescheduled for May 31.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that most e-waste in the U.S. still ends up in landfills where hazardous substances can leach into the ground and contaminate soil and water. Ford employees are doing what they can to keep the toxic materials in e-waste away from the environment.
"Ford’s culture of sustainability is such that employees tell us they consider this a company benefit," said Skielnik. “We’ve had numerous requests for a second event in the fall.”