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Pollution Prevention (P2) Internships: Background and Overview
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

The Topic Hub for P2 Internships is intended as a quick guide to essential information about programs that involve undergraduate and graduate students in internships to promote pollution prevention. A pollution prevention (P2) internship is different from other environmental internships in that it focuses on P2 - reducing or eliminating waste at the source, which can also save water, energy, and money in the process. This Topic Hub aims to educate assistance programs, policy makers, and educators that might be considering starting such a program, as well as raise awareness of these programs among potential interns and host companies. It can also serve as an information exchange to improve and help sustain existing P2 intern programs. The P2 Internship Topic Hub covers: getting a program started, recruiting student interns, recruiting program clients, providing technical assistance and support for the students, listing different tasks that student interns conduct, training students, identifying the costs of the programs, and measuring the results.

This Topic Hub is intended to highlight the various approaches existing programs have taken in implementing their internship programs. The authors have tried to be comprehensive in their coverage of the various program elements employed, often citing examples throughout. The examples do not provide an exhaustive listing of programs that employ any one strategy, but illustrate how different program elements work. The "Where to Go for Help" section of the Topic Hub contains a complete listing of the P2 Internship Programs in the U.S.. If you are aware of a program that is not listed, please contact the author at the email address below.

There are many local and state agencies and public and private colleges and universities that offer student internship opportunities in a variety of environmental fields. There are also environmental internships available to recent graduates and professionals. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers intensive two-year environmental internships that place college graduates in an entry-level, professional, full-time career development program within EPA. The interns are considered EPA employees and are often offered permanent positions at the conclusion of the program. Although very worthwhile, programs such as these do not focus principally on pollution prevention and are, therefore, not addressed in this Topic Hub.

Last Updated: 12/23/08


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