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Zero Waste Intern - Federal Work Study

Date: Jul 28, 2022

Location: Washington DC, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University

Summary/Objective

American University's Office of Zero Waste is looking for new interns to assist with zero waste projects across campus. This position includes many opportunities to work both in the field and in the office to learn more about waste management systems on a college campus. Interns will work on projects related to food waste collection, food recovery, item reuse, waste stream contamination control and waste sorting education.

Intern Responsibilities

All interns will assist with Organics collection and a secondary project of their choice.
  • Organics Collection
    • Drive an AU Facilities Management Vehicle to dining locations across campus and collect food scraps to dispose of in AU's organics compactor
    • Track weights and inspect organics waste stream for contaminants
  • Contamination Control
    • Research contamination control interventions and implement projects that will help reduce the amount of non-compostable items in AU's organics waste stream
    • Help research improvements to AU's waste sorting signage and assist with refining AU's public space recycling design
  • Food Recovery
    • Aid in the expansion of food recovery efforts on campus
    • Research hunger fighting partners AU can partner with to distribute recovered food items
  • Outreach and Education
    • Create Instagram posts and signage educating AU community about waste sorting and Zero Waste operations
    • Assist with in person waste education tabling and surveying
  • Reuse Programs
    • Help coordinate Project Move Out
    • Inventory surplus furniture across campus storage spaces
    • Research donation partners for reuse items

Work Environment

  • This position will be a mix of working out in the field around campus along with office work that can be completed remotely

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Interns will work a minimum of 4 hours a week for organics collection and an additional 4-6 hours a week on a secondary project of their choice from the topics listed above

Salary Range

  • $16.00/hr

Required Education and Experience

  • Applicants must be an enrolled student at American University
  • This position is for federal work study students only
  • Must be comfortable working outside in summer weather
  • Demonstrated skills in problem solving and paying attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • This position can be for the fall semester, spring semester, or both semesters
  • Zero Waste Office is flexible with start dates for this position
  • Accepted interns will be required to attend introductory trainings
  • Eligibility for AU driving privileges and comfort driving on and off campus is strongly preferred
  • Ability to lift ~50 pounds is also preferred


Nearest Major Market: Washington DC