Jim Quinn

Streaming Media

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30 minutes


Refuse and Refuse Disposal -- Oregon -- Portland, Sustainability, Recycling -- Waste, Hazardous Wastes


Interview of Jim Quinn by Sean Quigley at Metro in Portland, Oregon on December 2nd, 2009.

The interview index is available for download.


Jim Quinn manages Metro's Hazardous Waste Program, including hazardous waste facilities, a series of household hazardous waste collection events, a small business hazardous waste collection program, and a state-of-the-art latex paint recycling facility. He's been with Metro since 1991. Jim Quinn studied chemistry at Reed College, and earned a MS in Environmental Management from UCSF. He's worked in the hazardous waste management field since 1984.


Jim Quinn, from Metro’s Hazardous Waste Program is interviewed by Sean Quigly on December 2 2009. Jim’s background in education is a Chemistry degree from Reed College, and Environmental Management Master’s degree from San Francisco State University. His career involves working with a wide variety chemicals in the hazardous waste field, by recycling and collecting hazardous materials. Protecting people and nature is why he is interested in his field. The recycling instead of disposing of hazardous waste, Jim gives the example of the innovative government pilot program of paint recycling in Portland as well as the paint recycling bill, that he believes should be implemented in all 50 states. By recycling paint, in 2009 they annually made 1 million dollars. Collaboration with the paint industry is an imperative for technical expertise confronting difficulties, and potentially providing alternatives to assure that the savings in energy also entails decreasing pollution. 20 to 50 thousand tons of CO2 have been saved by the program from people that do not buy new paint. Metro deals with all levels of waste recycling and collection, perhaps the best in the country, plus provides knowledge on the ethics of the hierarchy of wastes, with the most hazardous at the top of the pyramid. Jim talks of the innovative strategies of Product stewardship, providing a universal system through government is a good thing, where hazards won’t be over cited.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


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