Port and Portland State University celebrate 10 years of success and innovation

by timmel 6/12/2013 4:19 PM

It takes a special kind of person to be willing to dig through the garbage on a regular basis. Thanks to a partnership with Portland State University, this week marks the tenth year that those special people have been making a difference at Portland International Airport. Through PSU’s Community Environmental Services program, student consultants work for the Port of Portland in one- or two-year terms and work alongside Port staff to gain experience solving real-life waste management problems. Although they serve all Port facilities, they focus on the Port’s primary waste generator - PDX. The airport is like a small city with 10,000 employees and 35,000 people passing through every day. It's a unique setting for developing innovative and creative waste solutions on a large-scale.

Through the students' long-standing support, the Port has made incredible strides in reducing waste. They have played a large role in designing and implementing PDX’s waste collection systems and composting program. They have been involved in researching recycling options for coffee cups, conducting waste assessments for airlines and airport terminal tenants and holding annual clean up events for tenants to find ways to recycle and repurpose large and bulky items. Most recently, the students helped launch a highly successful food donation program through St. Vincent dePaul of Portland and helped redesign liquid collection stations at security checkpoints, dramatically increasing their use by travelers.

The partnership truly provides benefits for both the Port and PSU students. “I attribute the longevity and success of this program to two things: the Port’s impressive commitment to keep pushing the needle forward on these issues, and the great students that CES continues to attract. I can’t think of a better embodiment of PSU’s motto, 'Let Knowledge Serve the City,'" says Eric T. Crum, director of the CES program.

Although the program has been in place for many years, there is no typical day for a CES student working at the Port. They do everything from collecting and managing data, to running outreach and education campaigns, to rolling their sleeves up and conducting waste sorts that determine where there are opportunities for program improvements. Their versatility is invaluable and we look forward to another ten years of success and collaboration.

For more information on the partnership between PSU and the Port and a full list of the students’ accomplishments, visit: www.pdx.edu

For additional news on the partnership's anniversary, visit:
Oregon Live

Port Staff Talk Chickens, Worms, and Bees

by wrayr 4/22/2011 2:21 PM

For Earth Day, the Port hosted a lunchtime lecture series for employees on various topics, drawing on expertise right here on staff. For today’s presentation, Troy Graham, Stan Jones, and Greg Sparks talked about raising chickens, worms, and honeybees in the backyard. The engaging trio provided useful advice and information to an audience that left eager to try their hand at egg-laying hens, worm bins for composting, and beekeeping. It also marked the first time we’ve had a rooster in the headquarters building.

Pictures from the presentation:

Above, Troy shows off one of three birds he brought to the presentation. In addition to his rooster, he brought a hen and a bantam duck, fielding questions about how to raise a happy and healthy flock.

Stan shows off worms from the Port's on-site composting bin.

Greg talked about how bee colonies work and the rewards of tending to honeybees.

Stan gets comfortable with the crowd to talk about worm bins, his worms' favorite foods, and how the results are excellent fertilizers for gardens.