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11 Jul 2023

Full-Time Senior Sustainability Specialist – Waste Reduction

County of San Mateo Office of Sustainability – Posted by OfficeofSustainability San Mateo County, California, United States

County of San Mateo Office of Sustainability logo

Job Description

Are you passionate about finding new ways to reduce the amount of edible food going into the landfill and exploring the different ways compost and mulch can be used around your community? Would you like to be part of a team of enthusiastic sustainability professionals and help the County of San Mateo develop and implement programs to address critical sustainability issues around waste reduction and diversion in the community?

The County of San Mateo’s Office of Sustainability (OOS) is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Senior Sustainability Specialist – Waste Reduction. We want “sustainability champions” with experience working directly with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We are looking for candidates with excellent project management and communication skills to lead initiatives and help our employees, community partners, and community members take meaningful actions on sustainability. We are committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourage candidates from varied backgrounds to apply.

The Ideal Candidate will:

  • Have an extensive background in the areas of solid waste management, recycling and composting, source reduction, public administration, and public policy.
  • Have experience leading diverse project teams and managing high-profile, complex programs and projects.
  • Have worked effectively with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Possess strong organizational, time management, and project management skills, with the ability to lead multiple projects at different stages simultaneously.
  • Have a strong commitment to public service and serving the local community.
  • Have initiative, drive, and follow through to ensure all necessary tasks are completed on time with little supervision.
  • Have strong communications and writing skills.
  • Be able to incorporate the perspectives of multiple communities, including communities of color, in the consideration of impacts and outcomes of a project or initiative.
  • Be able to incorporate an understanding of institutional and structural racism and bias and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities to improve project design and implementation.
  • Be able to speak effectively, make public presentations, conduct outreach, training and/or public education as necessary to a variety of different audiences.
  • Be comfortable in a fast-paced, people-focused environment.

Examples Of Duties

Reporting to the Waste Reduction Program Manager, the Senior Sustainability Specialist (SSS) will be responsible for leading a team to support the County’s compliance with various state mandates around recycling and composting including California Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383), Assembly Bill 1826 (AB 1826), AB 341, and AB 939. The SSS will play a pivotal role in shaping, implementing, and guiding the County in its goal to reduce avoidable waste, spark innovation, create synergies, and bring the community together. Work will focus on several key areas: edible food recovery, procurement of recycled organic materials (e.g., paper products, compost, mulch), and composting in the unincorporated areas.

The Senior Sustainability Specialist will:

  • Lead a team to design and implement programs for the County to comply with selected areas of SB 1383 including edible food recovery, recycled organic material procurement, capacity planning, inspection, enforcement, and reporting.
  • Oversee and coordinate compliance efforts with waste diversion regulations for the unincorporated county areas including AB 1826 (mandatory commercial organics recycling), AB 341 (mandatory recycling).
  • Support the Program Manager with overall waste reporting efforts related to SB 1383 and AB 939, including the Electronic Annual Report.
  • Develop relationships and coordinate efforts with local edible food recovery organizations.
  • Lead and facilitate countywide meetings and discussions around SB 1383 implementation with stakeholders including cities, edible food recovery organizations, and public agencies.
  • Present to the County’s Board of Supervisors and other entities on information relating to implementation of SB 1383.
  • Oversee internal efforts and initiatives with County departments to assist with compliance with various aspects of SB 1383.
  • Represent the Waste Reduction Workgroup and the OOS on boards, committees, and in community groups.
  • Prepare and edit comprehensive reports, letters, and other written materials.
  • Track changes in and compliance with existing contracts, grants, laws, codes, and rules.
  • Provide input on staff selection, and evaluation of opportunities to enhance employee engagement.
  • Coach, mentor, and train team members. Provide staff with project direction, training, assignment, and review of work completed. Provide Program Manager with input around performance evaluations and feedback.
  • Assist the Program Manager with program planning and budget management for the Waste Reduction Workgroup.
  • Support the Program Manager with program goals and high-level strategy development for the Waste Reduction Workgroup.
  • Work with the other Senior Sustainability Specialists in the OOS to identify and coordinate collaboration opportunities across program areas, within the Waste Reduction Workgroup, and across the OOS.
  • Serve as a technical expert, researching, analyzing, and interpreting complex technical data.
  • Perform other duties as assigned, especially related to other solid waste reduction efforts led by the Waste Reduction Workgroup.

About the Office of Sustainability
Formed in July 2014, as a part of the County Executive’s Office, the OOS strives to improve the sustainability of the County’s operations and the greater community through work in areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, resource conservation, active transportation, climate resiliency, affordable housing, and greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Here at the OOS, we:

  • Are passionate about protecting and saving the environment, while serving our community.
  • Are compassionate and empathetic to the needs of our colleagues, community members, and stakeholders.
  • Are committed to increasing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion through our work.
  • Actively take steps to dismantle systemic racism and increase equity in our programs.
  • Value diverse life experiences and strive to create a workplace that is welcoming to all.
  • Take steps to be inclusive and equitable in our recruiting and hiring.

We know work isn’t only about what you do; it’s also about who you work for and with! The OOS has a fun and supportive work environment that supports a work-life balance, including:

  • Flexible, hybrid work schedule opportunities
  • Wellness classes and resources to promote a healthy mind and body
  • Generous benefits package
  • Subsidy of up to $150 per month to cover the costs of public transit, vanpooling, carpooling, and bike and scooter share, or up to $480 per year for walking, biking, or carpooling to work
  • At least 20 hours of training provided annually

A competitive benefits package is associated with this position. For complete information regarding benefits please click here.

Note: This recruitment may also be used to fill future vacancies, so those interested in the Senior Sustainability Specialist position in one or any of the other working group(s) are encouraged to apply in this recruitment.

Education and Experience:
Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying.

  • A typical way to qualify is three years of program coordination experience in the field of sustainability and/or resource conservation.

Knowledge of:

  • Basic supervisory principles and practices.
  • Resource conservation management, including its scientific background, technology, principles, methods, research techniques and problems.
  • Pertinent laws, regulations and codes governing resource conservation.
  • Principles and practices of contract management.
  • Government agencies, community organizations and other stakeholders as they relate to resource conservation.
  • Principles, practices, and trends in multiple areas of resource conservation.
  • Technical information in multiple areas such as climate adaptation, including sea level rise, fire, heat island, and other risks, and climate action planning, including emission inventories, forecasting and emission targets, measure development, and stakeholder engagement for adaptation risk and climate planning initiatives.

Skill/Ability to:

  • Provide leadership and promote teamwork.
  • Plan, assign, direct and review the work of others.
  • Train others in departmental and program specific policies and procedures.
  • Plan, direct and coordinate resource conservation and sustainability programs, its staff and activities.
  • Interpret laws, regulations, and data.
  • Define difficult problem areas, research, and analyze complex data and make valid alternatives and recommendations.
  • Plan, implement, coordinate, and evaluate multiple complex functions and assignments.
  • Serve as subject matter expert in multiple areas of resource conservation.
  • Track and monitor compliance with pertinent mandates, laws, codes, rules, regulations, and agreements.
  • Serve as representative on various boards, committees, and community groups.
  • Speak effectively and make public presentations, conduct outreach, training and/or public education as necessary.
  • Prepare comprehensive reports, letters, and other written materials.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relations with variety of individuals at all levels including those from government, business, private and non-profit agencies, community groups and the public.
  • Integrate race and social justice considerations into work duties.

How to Apply

Click here to apply online.


  • Application Deadline:  July 24, 2023
  • Application Screening:  July 25-26, 2023
  • Civil Service Panel Interviews:  Week of July 31, 2023
  • Departmental/Finalist Interviews: Week of August 7, 2023

Job Categories: Recycling. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: compost, recycling, and zero waste. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

Job expires in 3 weeks.

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