Kayla Gacosta

OASE intern at Boeing Company

  • Industry: Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing and Maintenance
  • Project Type: Waste Management
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Major/University: Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University


Project Summary

Kayla Gacosta interned with Boeing to research improvements to the current waste management program as part of their pollution prevention initiative.


Potential Impacts & Reductions


Kayla recommended that Boeing pursue two projects that would help the company to reduce its hazardous waste production:

  • Installation of a sludge dryer which could reduce hazardous waste by 50,000 lbs annually and save the company two-thirds the cost of what they are currently paying
  • Removal of solvent rags from hazardous waste

50,000 lbs

Hazardous Waste Reduced


The Boeing Company is the global leader in manufacturing commercial jetliners and providing defense and security systems. Sustainability is one of Boeing’s core values, with goals to reduce landfill waste by 20% and hazardous waste by 5% by 2025. Kayla interned at the Gresham facility, which opened in 2012 and currently has 1,800 employees.


Projects Details

Kayla completed four projects during her internship.

Hazardous Waste Stream Review: Kayla verified that Boeing was properly managing their top hazardous waste streams.

Sludge Dryer Assessment: Kayla found that dried sludge is more chemically stable, meaning it is less likely to leach into surrounding ecosystems. She recommended a sludge dryers that can reduce the weight of sludge anywhere from 80-98% and volume by 67%, making them a good option for reducing hazardous waste.

Sampling of Assembly Debris: Kayla conducted a sampling of assembly debris that was being disposed of as hazardous waste. The test results showed the assembly debris did not qualify as hazardous waste. Now, Boeing doesn’t have to manage this waste stream as hazardous, resulting in lower disposal costs.

Hazardous Waste Behavior Change: Boeing could remove around 400 to 600 pounds of hazardous waste a year from their waste stream by creating a new practice of separating solvent-contaminated rags.