Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
Winter 2010

Outreach Program Leverages Pollution Control Efforts

2009 PS Students and Faculty / StaffThe University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s (UNL) Partners in Pollution Prevention (P3) program has had an impact on area college students and Nebraska businesses since 1997. This educational outreach and technical assistance program is operated by the University of Nebraska Extension and College of Engineering and funded by grants from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive Fund and the US EPA’s Pollution Prevention program, as well as matching funds from the University of Nebraska and many industrial partners. The NDEQ Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive Fund and the US EPA Pollution Prevention Grant projects have similar goals and serve as matching funds for each other; each grant provides a little under half the real dollar funds for the P3 program.

“The P3 program has made a measurable difference to the bottom line for many Nebraska businesses, said Joe Francis, Associate Program Director for NDEQ’s Field Services and Assistance Division.

“Today, the program continues to help Nebraska businesses reduce waste, save money and strive for sustainability.”

Student interns provide pollution prevention assistance to Nebraska businesses by performing waste assessments and waste reduction projects, and providing each client with a written report detailing waste minimization suggestions. Over 500 business clients based in 70 different Nebraska communities have been assisted between 1997 and summer 2009. During this period, the P3 program helped Nebraska businesses save a potential $17.6 million dollars through waste reduction and divert over 207 million pounds of solid waste from landfills. During the 2009 grant year, 41 businesses in Nebraska were provided new technical assistance in source reduction/pollution prevention. Data collected from the technical assistance reports indicate that these businesses have the potential to divert over 20 million pounds per year of solid waste from the landfill; reduce the generation and use of nearly 3,000 pounds per year of hazardous materials and waste; reduce water use by over 30 million gallons per year and reduce energy use by over 480,000 therms per year. Recommendations offered to 2009 client businesses have the potential to save them nearly $2 million per year.

The P3 program also conducts follow-up visits/interviews with previous clients to determine the actual impact of technical assistance rendered. Based on interviews and reassessments conducted with 166 past clients (over one-third of all those assisted 1997-2008), the P3 Program reports that 41% of all recommendations made by students were actually implemented, and that 78% of the businesses assisted had implemented at least one recommendation. Additional results from the 166 reassessments performed are summarized in Table 1 below. The overall impact of the P3 Program can also be seen in outreach and education, as demonstrated in Table 2 below.

Table 1: Results from Previous Technical Assistance As Determined
through Reassessments Conducted 1997-2009
Metric Measured
Number of Clients Reassessed
% of All Recommendations Implemented
% of Business Implementing at Least One Recommendation
Solid Waste Diverted from Landfill (lbs/yr)
Hazardous Waste/Materials Eliminated (gal/yr)
Electricity Use Saved (kWh/yr)
Water Conserved (gal/yr)
Direct Operating Cost Savings ($/yr)

Table 2: Overall Impact of P3 Program 1997-2009
OUTREACH: Impact of the P3 Program in Outreach to Nebraska - 1997-2009
Businesses Assisted with New Work
Businesses Assisted with Reassessment of Previous Work
Communities Served
EDUCATION: Impact of Program in Pollution Prevention (P2) Education - 1997-2009
Student Interns Educated in P2
Citizens Educated in P2
Newspaper Articles and TV/Radio Broadcasts Concerning P2

Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
1200 "N" Street, Suite 400
P.O. Box 98922
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509
(402) 471-2186