Zero Waste Manager (13499)

Date: Sep 28, 2023

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University

Get to Know American University

At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. 


Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work. 


Learn more about American University by clicking here.  


The Zero Waste Manager plans, implements, organizes, tracks, and monitors 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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 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. Communicate Zero Waste efforts outside the university (conferences, papers, presentations) to publicize AU’s waste diversion efforts.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • The position is housed under Facilities Management and directly reports to the Assistant Director of Facilities Operations along with one Arboretum Manager, one Grounds Manager, one Landscape Project Manager, one Transportation and Operations Manager, and one Housekeeping manager. Reporting directly to this position are (1) Support Services/Recycling Supervisor, (1) Recycling Specialist, Student employees, temporary contracted labor and contractors related to solid waste management, reuse, recycling, and composting. In addition, the position will liaise with the Director of Sustainability, FO Managers, Housekeeping and Dining Management.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full Time.
  • Sr. Coordinator/Analyst B.
  • Exempt,

Salary Range

  • Commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies or related field required.
  • 5-8 years of relevant experience.
  • 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

  • Incumbent may be asked to serve on university project team(s).


AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.


Other Details

  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.
  • Employees in staff positions at American University must deliver their services to the university from either the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, or perform work on-site at the university.
  • Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Current American University Employees

If you are a current employee 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.

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