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Organic (Food Waste) Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4)


Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen
Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We are a culture that is invested in making a difference. If you want to join a team that is highly effective, collaborative, has leadership that embraces the value of people, and believes in the fun factor, Ecology is a good fit.

The Solid Waste Management (SWM) program is looking to fill an Organic (Food Waste) Specialist (Environmental Specialist 4) position. This position will be located in our Headquarters building in Lacey, WA. 

The Organic (Food Waste) Specialist position works to promote organics material recycling with a focus on food waste prevention and wasted food management. This position works with Lead organics staff to develop and implement the State Wasted Food Reduction and Food Waste Diversion Plan.

We are looking for someone who likes to manage a process, embrace a range of technical and administrative issues, and work with people. This position requires attention to detail and the ability to work cooperatively with Ecology staff and external stakeholders. If you like being an integral part of the process to develop and implement solutions to food waste management in WA State, then this could be the position for you.
As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism and accountability.
To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.
Local efforts... Diverse people... Statewide impacts

The mission of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) program is to reduce wastes through prevention and reuse, keep toxics out of the environment, and safely manage what remains.

Some of the key work activities of the Organic (Food Waste) Specialist position are:

Serve as senior environmental specialist project manager and coordinator on Food Waste Management:
  • Works with stakeholders to develop a State Wasted Food Reduction and Food Waste Diversion Plan by October 2020. 
  • Coordinates stakeholder processes, including stakeholder meetings, facilitation of meetings, document preparation, and stakeholder input opportunities. 
  • Prepares listserv messages, web content, focus sheets, and other messaging. 
  • Responds to requests for information on plan development. 
  • Implements the plan once it is developed, coordinating with stakeholders statewide to meet plan goals. 
  • Serves as an expert technical resource on plan content. 
  • Develops web content and other outreach materials.
  • Manage contracts related to food waste management. Works with Ecology contract experts. Manages all facets of the contracting process ensuring that Ecology receives all deliverables on schedule to meet deadlines mandated by law.
  • Works with Lead organics staffto prepare the required report to the legislature recommending changes to state law and rules that will help the State reach the wasted food reduction goal outlined in the State Wasted Food Reduction and Food Waste Diversion Plan.
  • Participates in the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) process and meetings to reduce wasted food in Washington (as part of the west coast collaboration). 
  • Responsible for implementing specific PCC tasks related to food waste prevention and reduction in Washington.
  • Works with independent grocers and others in Washington to effectively reduce wasted food to meet both PCC and Washington state law reduction goals (50% by 2030).
Provide Organics Technical Assistance:
  • Independently interprets regulations and provide technical assistance to Ecology staff, the regulated community, and other stakeholders on Solid Waste Handling Standards related to organic materials management, food waste, and other organic materials recycling.
  • Implements organics projects from the State Solid and Hazardous Waste Plan, such as efforts to increase residential and commercial organics recovery programs, and efforts to prevent food waste.
  • Expands and increases residential and institutional organics recovery programs throughout Washington through outreach and consultation with state agencies, local governments, non-profits, businesses and members of the public.
  • Participates in the SWM Organics Job alike group meetings.
  • Responds to emails, phone calls, and letters. Research regulations and other sources of information to answer questions about organics management in Washington.
  • Meets with individuals and groups including other agencies, local health departments, and others as needed to provide information and assistance on organics management.
  • Researches and shares information on new, emerging, and existing organics technologies.
  • Maintains Organics web pages.
  • Develops and updates educational materials and guidance documents related to organics recycling and food waste.
  • Provides technical review to SWM grant officers and planners on grant proposals related to food waste or other organic materials management.

This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be September 9, 2019. In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before September 8, 2019. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.
Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/Salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.


Required Qualifications:

A Bachelor's degree involving a major study in environmental, physical, or one of the natural sciences, environmental planning or other allied field AND five (5) years of professional-level experience in organics waste management which includes one (1) year equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above or two (2) years equal to an Environmental Specialist 2 or above.


A Master's degree in one of the above fields and three (3) years of professional - level experience as required above which includes one (1) year equal to an Environmental Specialist 3 or above or two (2) years equal to an Environmental Specialist 2 or above.
The experience as an Environmental Specialist 3 can include a combination of the following: 1) investigating and / or resolving complaints involving science or technology content, 2) performing inspections, 3) drafting technical evaluations and reports, 4) developing plans for researching information used for technical projects, regulatory or policy development, 5) planning and facilitating public meetings and hearings, 6) project work requiring specialized knowledge of industry processes, pollutant sources or natural processes, 7) providing technical assistance for complex scientific content and/ or support for implementing scientific content programs, 8) conducting tests, analyzing and evaluating data, 9) using environmental databases to support technical projects, 10) developing scientific studies and resource management plans, 11) providing environmental technical and administrative assistance to grant/ contract/ loan recipients of environmental protection projects.

The experience as an Environmental Specialist 2 can include assisting in any of the following areas: 1) performing field surveys or studies, 2) responding to complaints involving scientific or technical content, 3) preparing public meetings and hearings, 4) assisting with routine inspections or investigations requiring specialized knowledge of industry processes, pollutant sources or natural processes, 5) responding to routine inquires or requests for technical assistance involving scientific content, 6) special projects that are scientific in nature, 7) conducting routine sampling and testing analyses, interpreting data, writing reports 8) performing basic sampling data review, 9) maintaining an environmental data base to support technical projects, 10) providing routine environmental technical and administrative assistance to grant/ contract/ loan recipients of environmental protection projects.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Commercial and institutional knowledge of food waste management regulatory requirements.
  • Residential, industrial and agricultural organics recycling methods, technologies and systems.
  • Ability to successfully plan and implement an outreach/marketing strategy.
  • Facilitation skills.

Why work for Ecology?

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State's environment.

A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping the health and financial security of you and your family a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to work/life balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:

Student debt and how working for Ecology can help
Employees may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. See for more details.
*See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information

Supplemental Information
Application Instructions:

In order to be considered, applicants MUST attach the following documents as an attachment to their application:
  • A cover letter describing how your experience, skills and abilities meet the required/desired qualifications of this position.
  • A resume outlining your professional experience.
Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/Salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.

Please complete the applicant profile when applying for this position. Or, you may paste the text of your resume within the profile's resume text field.

Please read the supplemental questions carefully and answer completely. Incomplete responses, including "please see resume", may disqualify you from further consideration.

Department of Ecology employees, please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources at (360) 407-6186.

If you are reading this announcement in print format, please visit to access the online recruitment system. Click on "Look for Jobs" and select Dept. of Ecology under the "Department" search list. Click "Apply Search."

Other Information:

If you need assistance applying for this job, please call Human Resources at (360) 407-6186 or e-mail Please do not call this number or send an email to this address to follow-up the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.

If you have specific questions about the position, please send an email to Al Salvi at: Please do not contact Al to inquire about the status of your application.

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed.

This position is included in the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) union bargaining unit for the Department of Ecology.

The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.