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Pollution Prevention (P2) Internships: Results
Table of Contents
Background and Overview
Getting Started - Scope of the Program
Recruiting Students
Recruiting Internship Clients
Technical Assistance and Support
Internship Tasks
Student Training
Program Costs
Measuring the Impact of the Internships
Where to go for Help
Complete List of Links

There are many benefits to participating in a P2 internship - not only for the student interns that receive monetary compensation for their work, valuable practical experience, and possibly college credits - but also for the companies and organizations that hire them. Even with the upfront costs of helping to sponsor the intern, clients most often save money by implementing the recommended pollution prevention processes or techniques and also reduce their environmental impacts by reducing waste generation and energy use.

Most of the P2 internship programs mentioned in this Topic Hub have existed for a number of years and have quantified their results. Newer programs may not have much data, but can still document the benefits to their clients. For example, the P2 internship Program in New Hampshire reports a total cost savings of over $3,000,000 for participating clients since the Program started in 1994.28

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) working together with Clarkson University and NXP Semiconductors, reported that the Green Engineering Internship project saved the company nearly $200,000 through implementation of green technologies.29

Over the course of Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's (IEPA) P2 Internship Program, which began in 1989, participating Illinois businesses have saved millions of dollars. During the summer of 2008, student projects had the potential to reduce energy costs by over $2,000,000, save over $75,000 in lower operating and disposal costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 900 tons of carbon dioxide per year.30

In 2006, Kansas State University Pollution Prevention Institute?s (PPI) interns identified more than $375,000 dollars in potential savings through P2 projects at participating Kansas businesses. According to its 2007 report, if implemented, these recommendations have the potential to prevent 400 tons of solid waste and 625 tons of hazardous waste from being generated.31 These recommendations would also lead to reductions in energy use, the amount of hazardous materials used, and an increased awareness of P2 among employees.

During the summers of 1997 through 2007, the Nebraska P3 Program assisted a total of 444 clients. The cumulative results from this assistance include the potential to save $13.4 million dollars through waste reduction and pollution prevention and divert 43 million pounds of solid waste from landfills. Based on follow-up reassessments with 135 past clients, the P3 program was able to determine that 39 percent of all P2 recommendations made by the student interns were implemented, saving a total of over $900,000.32 Environmental benefits resulting from this work include reductions in solid waste, hazardous waste, energy use, and water use. The pollution prevention results based on the reassessments were 19,608,400 pounds of solid waste diverted from landfills; 843,300 pounds of hazardous waste reduced; 3,010,300 kilowatt hours of electricity reduced; and 9.9 million gallons of water use reduced.33

For more specific information about the results of individual internship projects or to view case studies and final project reports, please visit the following program websites:*

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources:

Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) - University of Minnesota:

New Hampshire Pollution Prevention Partnership (NHP2P) - New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and University of New Hampshire:

Partners in Pollution Prevention (P3) - University of Nebraska Lincoln:

Pollution Prevention Institute (PPI) - Kansas State University:

* Note: this is not a comprehensive list of all the existing P2 internship programs or projects. New initiatives are launched every year. If you know of an internship program that is not listed or have an update on the ones that are listed above, contact .

Last Updated: 12/23/08


28 New Hampshire DES P2 Internship Program Website:
29 New York DEC Website Announcement:
30 Illinois Environmental Protection Agency P2 Internship Website:
31 2006 Pollution Prevention Intern Program: Measuring Industry Pollution Prevention Success in Kansas (January 2007)
32 University of Nebraska- Lincoln P3 Program Website:
33 University of Nebraska- Lincoln P3 Program Website:


The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)

The Pollution Prevention (P2) Internships Topic Hub™ was developed by:

Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association
Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association
Contact email:

Hub Last Updated: 10/8/2013