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Washington businesses benefit from free, grant-funded Pollution Prevention internships

Harborview Medical Center WASI intern holding two clear plastic bags of blue wrap for recycling.

Harborview Medical Center’s WASI intern developed and implemented a sterile blue wrap recycling program.

Calling all businesses! The Washington Applied Sustainability Internship (WASI) program places summer interns at businesses to help implement pollution prevention (P2) and sustainability projects. This program helps businesses of all sizes begin or continue their P2 journey. 

In past years, WASI interns have identified ways host businesses can: 

  • Reduce their solid waste by nearly 500,000 pounds per year 
  • Reduce hazardous waste by 243,000 pounds per year 
  • Save over $690,000 per year in manufacturing and disposal costs 

Host a P2 intern at your business 

Businesses can apply now to host an intern for summer 2024. WASI is searching for four projects to fund. We will recruit and pay interns an $8,000 stipend for the ten-week internship. 

Any business or organization in Washington state is eligible to participate in the WASI program. Business applications are due February 16, 2024.

Business applications are welcome from all sectors. We’d especially like to see projects in these industries:

  • Food and beverage manufacturing and processing
  • Chemical manufacturing, processing and formulation
  • Automotive manufacturing and maintenance
  • Aerospace product and parts manufacturing and maintenance
  • Metal manufacturing and fabrication
  • Support pollution prevention in Indian country

Canyon Creek Cabinet Company’s WASI intern established a program to reuse scrap wood.

Your WASI project

If you work for a business that might benefit from the WASI program and want support implementing sustainability or pollution prevention, a P2 intern can help with:

  • Green chemistry and safer chemical alternatives
  • Reducing use of hazardous substances
  • Preventing pollution to Washington waters
  • Water and energy conservation
  • Reducing air emissions
  • Reducing waste
  • Alternatives assessments

Business applications are due by February 16, 2024. Reach out to Jenny Yoo at Jenny.Yoo@ecy.wa.gov to talk about your project idea or ask questions.

The WASI program

It’s a win-win opportunity! Washington Sea Grant and the Washington Department of Ecology administer this EPA-funded program that pairs Washington businesses with college students. Students gain relevant work experience, and businesses benefit from having an intern dedicated to pollution prevention and sustainability projects. We’re boosting Washington’s environmental workforce one project at a time.

Prospective interns can apply starting in mid-March after four 2024 projects are selected.