Zero Waste Specialist | NJ

Job Type: 
Full Time

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. Clean Water has had an active presence in NJ since 1982 on a wide range of issues.

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 food-ware and packaging are used by US food service businesses every year. Much of this trash is concentrated in low-income communities of color, ends up in our waterways, with nearly 70% of ocean-bound litter is food and beverage packaging. 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 shifts in policy and cultural norms across the food service industry and public at large. Our data-based case studies of businesses and institutions that have made the transition to zero-waste service have been key to recruiting others.

In New Jersey, Clean Water has a long history of working on waste and plastics issues. We

co-led campaigns that secured state policy regarding single use plastic/paper bags, polyfoam containers and straws on by request, as well as recycled content in packaging, large scale composting, local Rethink Disposable successes and more. For more info, go to:

The Zero Waste Specialist’s primary work involves direct outreach to businesses, institutions (particularly food pantry and “meals on wheels” type home delivery services) and/or local governments enlisting their participation in our program to replace single use disposable materials with reusable items, as well as create models for others to replicate. This job requires a persuasive voice that can convince entities to change their practices. Past experience in canvassing is very useful, as this job requires extensive in-person visits to prospective participants. 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 and other entities, with a focus on engaging operations owned and managed by black, indigenous, people of color, women, and/or non-English mono-lingual individuals to participate in ReThink Disposable program;
  • Perform administrative functions, data collection and impact analysis (training provided);
  • Meet targets for recruiting participants who switch to reusable food-ware on time and with significant results;
  • Plan, coordinate, and implement the 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 your supervisor and larger national project team.


  • Able to communicate effectively with businesses, service organizations 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;
  • Ability to lift up to 25 lbs. and transport materials will be required;
  • Passion for racial equity and environmental justice.
  • Fluency in a language in addition to English is a plus;
  • Experience in the food service industry is a plus;
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and personal vehicle (travel reimbursement provided).


How to Apply: 

Email letter of interest and resume to Internal candidates should talk with their supervisor first.

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.

Salary range $50-55,000 depending on experience and language proficiency. This is a full-time position. Attractive benefits package available.
Date Posted: 
Thursday, October 27, 2022