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Zero Waste Manager (13499)

Date: Jul 7, 2021

Location: District of Columbia, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University


The Zero Waste Manager plans, implements, organize, tracks, and monitor all aspects of waste diversion and waste reduction operations. The manager liaises with faculty, staff, and students to promote, inform, and improve waste management practices and achieve American University’s green initiatives and implement the University’s Zero Waste policy. This position will focus on the operational components of AU’s Zero Waste Program ensuring internal compliance for staff and contractors.

Essential Functions

1. (35% of Time) Zero-Waste Program Management

The manager works closely with contracted solid waste and recycling service providers and in-house recycling operations. Determines container types, quantities and locations, recommending changes as necessary and making sure there are recycling and organic waste containers in all buildings and around campus. Works with purchasing and auxiliary services to purchase compostable or recycled content products. Recommend improvements to the recycling process to ensure accuracy and frequent collection schedules in order to increase the amount and types of materials being recycled. Assist in planning, scheduling, coordinating and performing campus clean up, internal movement of waste to compactors through recycling crew, electronic and furniture recycling through Support Services, event support, and facilitate sustainability practices to meet the Zero Waste goal.

2. (20% of Time) Waste Data Collection, Performance Measurement, Reporting, and Budget Research, development and implementation of the most effective methods and systems for measuring and recording waste reduction. Monitor all ongoing collection activity to ensure that accurate data is being obtained and tracked on the master Zero Waste spreadsheet to ensure targets are met. Continuously analyze all waste collection data for accuracy and compare month-over-month data to ensure the annual reduction targets are achievable and make adjustments along the way. Reports all necessary data and analysis for sustainability commitments: LEED, Sustainable SITES, STARS, and the President’s Climate Commitment (Greenhouse Gas Inventory). Track weights and submit reports to the Office of Sustainability. Research, develop, and implement cost-effective solutions and manage the Zero Waste Budget.

3. (20% of Time) Manage Recycling Associates, Support Service Associates, Contractors, and Student Employees. This includes hiring, onboarding, training, and providing coaching and feedback. Manage and evaluate performance and seek opportunities and encourage professional development. Work with student organizations and academic departments to develop internships, independent study, research projects and programs, and manage student employees and work-study part-time staff.

Essential Functions Continued

4. (10% of Time) Zero Waste Program Improvement

Analyze the University’s solid waste, reuse, recycling, and composting programs and examine best industry practices. Make changes in order to meet waste reduction goals.

​​​​​​​5. (10% of Time) Zero Waste Education and Representation

Develop promotional and education programs, printed materials and website (AU website and social networking media such as Facebook and Twitter) to encourage all members of the University community to support the University’s recycling and zero waste programs.​​​​​​​

6. (5% of Time) Communicate Zero Waste efforts outside the university (conferences, papers, presentations) to publicize AU’s waste diversion efforts.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full-time
  • Senior Coordinator B

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies or related field required.
  • Minimum five years’ work experience in sustainability, solid waste management, resource conservation, or recycling.
  • Other skills and abilities required include:
    • Knowledge of recycling techniques and processes
    • Excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to communicate both orally and in writing with a diverse campus population including faculty, staff, students, city officials, and university neighbors on sustainable solid waste management and recycling issues.
  • The ability to produce reports on the recycling program and to interpret institutional policies, plans, objectives, rules and regulations, and to communicate the interpretation to others is also required.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.


  • Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options


Current American University Employees:

If you are a current full-time or part-time staff member at American University, please log into AsuccessfulU through the myAU portal. Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page. 


Contact Us:

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email


American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC