Iowa companies have saved nearly $117M since 2001 by implementing environmental improvements recommended by interns with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Pollution Prevention Intern Program. This service places top engineering students in Iowa facilities that are looking for cost-effective ways to cut or eliminate waste from their operations to improve environmental performance and ultimately save money. The interns analyze current systems, research alternative processes or technologies, and develop strategies to improve the way resources are used.
This past year, 12 host companies and interns joined this unique partnership of business, academia, and government to effect change. Ten of these interns completed their projects in August, and implementation has already begun.
A project completed in November 2022 provided a baseline of water usage and implemented improvements to reduce water use and associated costs. One intern and host company committed to a 24-week project this year and will continue to work together through November developing strategies to streamline monitoring and data collection practices and reduce water and energy usage. Other projects will reduce chemical usage and hazardous waste, divert waste from landfills, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Annual environmental reductions generated in 2023 include more than eight million gallons of water, more than 295 tons of hazardous waste, and nearly 234,000 kWh.
For more information on the program, see here.