In the Trenches: Having a food flight with PDX's Stan Jones and Walt Marchbanks
By Lisa Timmerman, Port of Portland
Stan Jones and Walt Marchbanks help ensure Portland's airport vendors do the right thing with their extra food.
Stan Jones has always been fascinated by what people throw away. Although his official role at the Port of Portland is land quality manager, where he ensures that airport properties are in compliance with environmental regulations, he wears a second hat as manager of the Port’s waste minimization program.
Much of his focus is on Portland International Airport. With 10,000 employees and an average of almost 40,000 travelers passing through each day, it’s like a small city.
Jones does everything from contemplating how to increase PDX’s landfill diversion rates to tackling worldwide challenges, like how old escalator handrails could be repurposed or how disposable coffee cups can be recycled. His big job is made easier with help from a team of students from Portland State University’s Community Environmental Services program. For the past 10 years, CES students have served as foot soldiers in PDX’s fight against waste and one of their areas of focus is encouraging the many restaurant tenants at PDX to compost.
Since 2003, through studies, outreach campaigns and incentives, Jones and his CES team have gotten PDX’s composting rate up to about 12 to 14 tons each month. But, not one to rest on his laurels, Jones and his team looked down into the depths of their compost bins and saw something disturbing – really, really good quality food. There were sandwiches and salads, breakfast pastries and parfaits whose only crime was that they sat in the display case for more than a day.
They weren’t the only ones cringing over the sight of high quality food destined for garden mulch. Walking the same concourse halls multiple times a day was Port Concessions Operations Manager Walt Marchbanks.
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