Zero Waste Specialist | New England
Clean Water Action is a national organization working for clean, safe and affordable water. We help prevent health-threatening pollution, create environmentally-safe jobs and businesses, and empower people to make democracy work. Clean Water Fund organizes strong grassroots coalitions and campaigns to protect our environment, health, economic well-being and quality of life. Ensuring that those most affected by environmental degradation have a voice at the table, and that solutions to environmental problems contribute to broader goals of justice for all, are central goals in all our work.
Clean Water is looking for a motivated Zero Waste Specialist to join our award-winning ReThink Disposable program. Our program tackles the global waste crisis by working directly with food operators on all levels, from family-owned small businesses to large institutions, to deploy cost-saving, actionable changes to food operations. We’re in search of a motivated candidate, preferably multilingual who thrives on creating relationships that drive planet-forward changes.
Nearly 1 trillion pieces of disposable foodware and packaging are used by US food service businesses in restaurants every year. Much of this ends up in our waterways: almost 70% of ocean-bound litter is food and beverage packaging. Much of this trash is concentrated in low-income communities of color. If we continue on this path, the flow of plastic into the ocean is set to triple by 2040.
ReThink Disposable seeks to eradicate not just plastic waste, but all single-use disposable food and beverage packaging. Our team also provides expert consultation in partnership with governments and other non-governmental organizations to advocate for policy changes and shifts in cultural norms across the food service industry and the public at large. Our data-based case studies of businesses that have made the transition to zero-waste service have been key to the passage of local and regional foodware reduction ordinances.
The Zero Waste Specialist will implement the program in jurisdictions throughout New England, primarily in the Boston, Providence and Hartford areas, with a focus on environmental justice communities. The work involves direct outreach to restaurants, institutions and local governments enlisting their participation in our program to replace single use disposable materials with reusable items. This job requires a persuasive voice that can convince businesses to change their practices. Past experience in canvassing is very useful, as this job requires extensive in-person visits to prospective businesses. Our work is based on relationship building, so having the ability to connect to people quickly is absolutely essential.
Primary responsibilities include:
- Conduct field outreach and recruit businesses, with a focus on engaging businesses owned and managed by black, indigenous, people of color, women, and/or non-English mono-lingual individuals to participate in ReThink Disposable program;
- Support ReThink Program Director in contract administration and data collection and business impact analysis (training will be provided);
- Meet targets for recruiting business participants to switch to reusable foodware on time and with significant results;
- Participate in meetings to plan, coordinate, and implement ReThink Disposable program;
- Foster existing and new partnerships with zero-waste and community-based organizations to further the mission of the program in a collaborative fashion by requesting, hosting, and facilitating meetings with allies;
- Perform other duties as directed by Supervisors.
Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund requires COVID-19 vaccinations for all positions that will work in our offices or travel in our vehicles. Proof of vaccination will be required for applicants for this position.
Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund value a diverse workplace. People of color and those from economically disadvantaged communities are particularly encouraged to apply. Clean Water is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, marital status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic.
- Able to communicate effectively with businesses and the public (canvass experience a plus);
- Writing skills needed in order to share stories of program impact;
- Must be organized, detail-oriented, able to work independently, meet deadlines and complete assignments on time while juggling multiple projects and tasks;
- Cultural competency in interacting with people from a variety of economic, racial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds; Must have a valid driver’s license and be willing to travel among the three metro areas;
- Ability to lift up to 25 lbs and transport materials will be required;
- Basic knowledge of water, waste, climate change, marine debris and plastics pollution;
- Passion for racial equity and environmental justice.
- Fluency in a language in addition to English (preference for Mandarin, Cantonese, or Spanish) is a plus;
- Experience in the food service industry is a plus;
- Having your own personal vehicle is a plus (travel reimbursements will be provided)
Email letter of interest and resume to ZeroWasteappNE@cleanwater.org. Internal candidates should talk with their supervisor first.