PPRC Projects

Current Projects:

Eco-Logical Business Program

PPRC is participating in Oregon’s Eco-Logical Business Program; performing outreach to businesses in the automotive services industry. This certification program promotes best management practices for air quality, water quality, solid and hazardous waste management.

In addition to recognizing automotive service facilities that have implemented best management practices, the Eco-Logical Business Program acts as a free information resource to any automotive service facility interested in improving and/or learning about the environmental impacts of their operations.
Contact: Debra Taevs (dtaevs@pprc.org)
www.ecobiz.org/automain.htm

News Services (What's New in P2 & RSS Newsfeed)

PPRC monitors news wires and regional sources for information about pollution prevention news and new resources of interest to the technical assistance community. New stories are added virtually every day. These are published on pprc.org, and also are made available as a RSS feed, for subscribers. In addition, PPRC publishes this content every month in a free email bulletin called "What's New in P2."
Contact: Jonathan Stumpf (jstumpf@pprc.org)
www.pprc.org/news

P2 Results Measurement Tool

This web-based measurement tool meets the need for an effective, efficient way for analyzing and presenting P2 results regionally as well as nationwide. The tool utilizes data collected, managed, and synthesized by state and local government programs, nonprofits, companies, and other P2 organizations. This data has been used by federal EPA, states and municipalities to demonstrate the value to businesses and taxpayers of pollution prevention activities.
Contact: Ken Grimm (kgrimm@pprc.org)

Environmental Purchasing Rapid Response

Many organizations, cities, counties, states and the federal government are in the process of developing internal procedures to incorporate EPP criteria into their purchasing decisions. This research takes staff time. PPRC is pleased to be able to assist with the process by offering the EPP Rapid Response Service. EPP Rapid Response Service is provided by PPRC and is funded by an EPA grant. PPRC will provide up to 5 hours of research into the environmental aspects of a specific purchasing question. The web page includes a list of previous questions and responses, as well as instructions about how to ask your own environmental purchasing question.
Contact: Michelle Gaither (mgaither@pprc.org)
pprc.org/research/epp/

PPRC's Rapid Response Service

PPRC conducts free "rapid response" research for government agency technical assistance providers in the Northwest. This PPRC service seeks to answer an environmental question, or at a minimum, find sufficient leads, contacts and resources to help the requester find the desired information. The service may include consultation with engineers, a host of listserv resources, technical experts, and on-line or library searches. The web page includes a list of previous questions PPRC has answered. (Note: if you are outside of the Pacific Northwest, visit the National P2Rx" Rapid Response page for this service - a link is available from the page listed below.)
Contact: Michelle Gaither (mgaither@pprc.org)
pprc.org/research/rapidres.cfm

Past Projects:

Lean and Green Services

PPRC provides free assistance to identify environmental opportunities that are synergistic and complementary to lean. PPRC serves as a networking “hub" of lean and environmental service provider for lean and environment projects in Region 10. Over the past several years, PPRC has assisted companies in projects that have saved these companies over $500,000, reaping savings in energy, water, and wastes. PPRC also helps facilitate the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable’s Lean and Environment Workgroup to help participants mesh lean strategies with sustainable business practices.
Contact: Michelle Gaither (mgaither@pprc.org)

PBT Reduction Plans and Training

PPRC is assisting the Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies (ACWA) in developing pollution prevention (P2) plans to help implement SB 737, a state law requiring wastewater treatment plants to remove persistent bio-accumulative toxins (PBT) from their effluent. 
Contact: Debra Taevs (dtaevs@pprc.org)

Spray Painting Efficiency Training

The Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) developed the Spray Technique Analysis and Research (STAR®) program in 1994. The STAR® program is dedicated to improving the overall efficiency of manual spray coating operations by enhancing the techniques of spray technicians around the country. 12 years of study have shown STAR training to reduce paint overspray and improve transfer efficiency by an average of 25%.

Ken Grimm, PPRC's Industry Outreach Lead, has completed the Iowa Waste Reduction Center's Train-the-Trainer course in addition to his nearly 20 years of industrial and automotive paint experience. Ken is promoting and providing STAR/NESHAP training to technical and community colleges as well as commercial autobody shops. Current colleges training students using the STAR techniques include Renton Technical College, South Seattle Community College and Spokane Community College, Bellingham Technical College, Lake Washington Technical College, Columbia Basin College, Walla Walla Community College, Bates Technical College and the Wenatchee Skills Center.

If your business or technical training program wants to have this educational opportunity provided to you, please contact the Project Manager below.
Contact: Ken Grimm (kgrimm@pprc.org)
www.pprc.org/star/

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Project

PPRC has partnered with Interstate Distributor, a large Tacoma-based trucking firm, and Freightwings, a manufacturer of aerodynamic skirts for tractor trailers, to help implement one of the trucking industry’s largest installation of sideskirts. In 2010, 604 trailers were fitted with sideskirts, saving 463,505 gallons of diesel fuel and preventing 232 tons of GHG from reaching the atmosphere.
Contact: Jonathan Stumpf (jstumpf@pprc.org)
www.pprc.org/dera

Climate Change Topic Hub

Climate change is currently being addressed by many states, cities, agencies and businesses throughout the United States. There are many ways to address climate change and many ways to reduce a carbon footprint, but the first step is to do a greenhouse gas inventory and create a baseline to use as a standard against which all future efforts are measured.

The Climate Change Topic Hub will be a resource for technical assistance providers, as well as others, to help business, industry and government complete a greenhouse gas inventory and create that necessary baseline. The topic hub will designed to provide both simple and complex calculators as well as other information needed.

The hub will also look at reduction opportunities, including offsets, as well as available tax incentives and subsidies. For more information, direct inquiries to the Project Manager below.
Contact: Ken Grimm (kgrimm@pprc.org)

By-Product Synergy Northwest Network

Following the industrial ecology program model developed by the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, PPRC, in conjunction with NBIS, is coordinating a network of organizations working together to identify opportunies to exchange waste products. A waste or by-product of one company can be used by another company as a lower cost, locally available feedstock. This creative process sometimes promotes discovery of new market opportunities and new product development. It also may reduce costs and risks associated with wastes. The motto is "turn waste into profit"!
Contact: Debra Taevs (dtaevs@pprc.org)
pprc.org/synergy/

PPRC's Lean and Green Service

The Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) is promoting improved environmental operations via lean manufacturing activities. PPRC is providing assistance to the WA, OR and ID MEPs (Manufacturing Extension Partnerships) to identify environmental opportunities that are synergistic and complementary to lean. PPRC will also work towards becoming a networking/referral "hub" for lean and environment for lean service providers and lean experts in the Northwest region.
Contact: Michelle Gaither (mgaither@pprc.org)
www.pprc.org/solutions/leangreen.cfm

Medicine Return Program in Washington State

The pilot phase of this project (2006-2008)provided convenient, secure and environmentally responsible collection and disposal for expired/unwanted household pharmaceuticals, including over-the-counter and prescription medicines. National awards and publicity have been hallmarks of this trailblazing effort by a coalition of government, non-profit, and business representatives. A total of 40 pilot collection locations in Washington State retail pharmacies (Bartell's), clinical pharmacies (Group Health Cooperative) and boarding (assisted living) homes have collected and safely disposed of over 15,000 pounds of unused household medicines between 2006-2008. Next steps for the project include continuing collection services through a post-pilot (interim) phase, and working to create a long-term statewide medicine return program.

The objectives of this project are:
* Reduce potentially damaging environmental and health impacts of current disposal practices;
* Avoid accidental poisonings, illegal diversion, and drug abuse;
* Demonstrate the potential for an on-going program by documenting patient need, program feasibility and patient satisfaction; and
* Demonstrate a product stewardship model involving retailers and (eventually) manufacturers, serving as a model for the state and the rest of the country.
Contact: Cathy Buller (cbuller@pprc.org)
www.medicinereturn.com

Washington Hospital / Health Care Sector Outreach

PPRC will help the Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) implement its “Hospital Sector Plan” by assisting with WDOE’s outreach to Washington’s hospital/health care sector, and developing/providing tools and services that allow WDOE to move hospitals from an area of sector-specific focus into the mainstream of service delivery.
Contact: Cathy Buller (cbuller@pprc.org)

Snohomish County Take-Back

PPRC is helping Snohomish County, Washington assess and support the success of county-wide take-back programs for mercury-containing devices and electronic products.

Mercury-containing device tasks include identifying Snohomish County (SnoCo) auto wrecking yards participating in the End of Life Vehicle Solutions (ELVS) mercury switch recovery program, and documenting the number of mercury switches collected and amount of mercury returned. PPRC will also contact SnoCo heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors and wholesalers who do or could participate in the national mercury thermostat recovery program, and document the number of mercury thermostats collected and amount of mercury returned.

Electronic product return efforts will help existing and potential new SnoCo private or non-profit take-back locations and private sector curbside collection services register as e-waste collectors and be included in Washington’s manufacturer-provided e-waste recycling program. PPRC will also identify private locations in SnoCo accepting a broad range of unwanted electronic products.
Contact: Cathy Buller (cbuller@pprc.org)

Brown Grease

Brown grease contains in the neighborhood of 12,000 Btus per pound. Preliminary research shows that almost without exception, Pacific Northwest brown grease remains an untapped resource. Yellow grease (fryer grease) in contrast is now used in many locations by biodiesel manufacturers. According to one estimate, the quantity of brown grease per capita is twice to three times that of yellow grease.

This project began as a Rapid Research Request. When research revealed the intriguing possibilities behind brown grease, PPRC received a small amount of funding to hold a stakeholder meeting in the Portland area and draft a Roadmap for brown grease to be used productively as a feedstock for biofuels in the Northwest.

In Seattle, we are working with Julie Howell from the City of Seattle-SPU on a brown grease Symposium.
Contact: Debra Taevs (dtaevs@pprc.org)
www.pprc.org