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Community Spotlight: Q&A with Tony Hair

Who are you?

My name is Tony Hair and I am the waste management coordinator in the Campus Sustainability Office. I have worked in the waste management and minimization field for over a decade. I received both my BA in environmental studies and BS in geography from Portland State. I am currently a graduate student in the geography department.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I am working on quite a few projects. I am looking at expanding departmental composting here at PSU. I am helping to develop a comprehensive plan for easier access to composting and recycling at campus events. Additionally, I have been working with a group of student volunteers to possibly pilot a public composting location at the Millar Library. We are doing a waste sort there next week.

What’s the one thing you want the sustainability community to know about what you’re doing?

Although the role of waste is often marginalized in our society, it is also one of the most public faces of sustainability. It can be a physical representation of what we are doing right and wrong. I recognize this and hope that my efforts here at PSU make it easier for students, faculty, and staff to feel proud about the way in which PSU is managing its waste, recycling, and composting.

What’s your favorite thing about being a part of Portland State?

The people! I have met some incredible people at Portland State. We have an interesting and diverse community here at PSU. I feel like in my time here as both a student and now a staff member, I have made lifelong friends who I have been able to learn so much from and who are constantly providing me with opportunities to grow.

What is your dream job?

My dream job would marry my passion for sustainability with my love of pop culture. I think it would be fun and fulfilling to be able to work in Hollywood as a sustainability advisor. Not only would I get to feel like I was helping out the planet, but I would get to peek behind the scenes of a world I have long admired. Can you begin to imagine how many plastic water bottles most movie or television productions throw away and what an impact the use of durable water bottles on set would make?