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Career Story: Zero Waste Planner For A State Environmental Protection Agency

Zero Waste Planner For A State Environmental Protection Agency

Job Title: Zero Waste Planner

Type of Company: I work for a Boston-based recycling service.

Education: BA, French •• MS, Geography

Previous Experience: I worked for the US EPA as a solid waste planner, then the Massachusetts DEP as a waste reduction coordinator. I then got a new job as a toxins and waste policy planner.

Job Tasks: I am a major accounts manager, making sure that our larger customers, including hospitals, universities, and large industrial plants, are receiving adequate recycling service. This includes participating in "green team" meetings or other facility planning meetings, identifying additional services, answering questions. providing training, educating employees and management about changes in the industry or regulations, and making sure they are provided with correct billing and tonnage information.

I am also in charge of coordinating special events, including public event recycling, zero waste services and Earth Day events.

I provide waste assessments, visiting sites and walking through them with a company representative while asking about their current solid waste service levels, and I provide sites with a written analysis of what they are doing, and recommendations on what they could be doing in addition, to maximize their waste reduction efforts.

I visit interested businesses and identify recycling needs and provide them with proposals. If they show any interest, I work to set them up with a recycling service.

I help on special projects, such as writing requests-for-proposals for large facilities, revising the website to include updates and changes, writing and sending a quarterly newsletter to our mailing list and updating the mailing list.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I work a part-time schedule. This give me the flexibility to schedule my appointments when I want to, and my bosses are great. It's a very family-friendly environment.

The not-so-great part: I usually have way more than three days per week worth of work.

Job Tips:
1. It's helpful to have a good background in local, state and federal solid waste policy and planning. It's also helpful to have good contacts with local sustainability businesses and to know how small businesses work.

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