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$1.6 million saved by Iowa companies through Pollution Prevention Intern Program

DES MOINES — Iowa companies have saved more than $1.6 million dollars in the last year thanks to waste-reducing projects completed by 16 interns from the DNR’s Pollution Prevention (P2) Intern Program. Six of these 16 projects represent the final results of 24-week projects completed at the end of 2015. 

Interns recommend and implement projects that will help Iowa businesses improve how they use resources. These projects divert waste from landfills, reduce hazardous waste, conserve water and energy, and reduce greenhouse gases and emissions.  Annual environmental reductions generated in 2016 include: 

  • 1.16 billion gallons of water
  • 1,215 tons of solid and special waste
  • 1,215 tons of hazardous waste
  • 1.2 million kilowatt hours (kWh)
  • 4,220 MTCO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent – used to measure emissions) 

The P2 Intern Program matches top engineering students with Iowa businesses interested in cost-effective ways to cut or eliminate waste from their operations that improve environmental performance and save money. Since 2001, companies have saved more than $81.9 million through P2 Intern Program projects. 

“The real value of the intern program has been to obtain a talented engineering student to compile data and provide in-depth technical analysis, with actionable recommendations. The results from our P2 projects have helped us to make informed decisions that improve our efficiency and reduce our operating costs,” said Todd Fails, Site Services Team Leader at Zoetis Global Supply in Charles City. 

After a week of orientation and training with program advisors, upper-level engineering students from Iowa’s state universities work at selected host facilities to analyze current systems, research alternative processes or technologies and recommend cost effective strategies to improve the way they manufacture, consume, reuse, and recycle materials and resources. 

Companies interested in participating in the 2017 Pollution Prevention Intern Program can submit a project request for either a 12- or 24-week project by Dec. 1. Project request forms and full case summaries of the intern projects are available at www.iowap2interns.com.

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