Summer Internship: Recycling Interns needed, Towns of Falmouth, Scarborough, Windham & S. Portland (Deadline: April 1, 2019)

Recycling Internship
Towns of Falmouth, Scarborough, Windham, and City of South Portland

Internship Overview

The Towns of Falmouth, Scarborough, Windham and the City of South Portland seek motivated and qualified individuals to work on a new, collaborative public outreach campaign about proper recycling. Each community seeks to hire a minimum of two part-time, seasonal interns to take part in this innovative program. Interns will have an opportunity to impact municipal recycling programs as well as receive training and professional development.

The first two weeks of the internship will be dedicated to a comprehensive training program developed by ecomaine in partnership with member communities and USM. The training program will include a thorough introduction to the recycling market, ecomaine facilities, and recycling dos/don’ts. Ecomaine will also equip interns with community outreach and education tools and resources.

Over the remaining eight weeks, interns will spend the majority of their time in the community, delivering education and outreach, inspect recycling carts for non-recyclable “contamination,” tagging bins, and collecting data. Weekly cohort meetings will bring interns together to debrief about their progress and challenges and will cover material including the waste hierarchy in practice, community-based social marketing, and policy development. At the end of the pilot program, interns will present a summary of their work to the local municipal Council or relevant committee.

Overall this internship will advance interns’ understanding of waste management and reduction, a key strategy in the region’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Interns will gain valuable experience in community-based outreach and education, data collection and management, critical thinking and analysis, and public presentations. Finally, interns will take on a central role in shaping the development of a sustainable internship program out of the pilot phase.

The 10-week internship will start on June 3, 2019 and end August 16, 2019. Interns will be compensated for the training time and will receive the week of July 4th off without pay. Interns will be expected to work 20 hours/week including one to two mornings a week staring at 6am. Each intern’s set schedule will be determined by the individual municipality. Compensation is $12/hour plus mileage or use of municipal vehicle, as  determined  by the municipality.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Complete two-week training program;
  • Tag recycling bins on collection mornings;
  • Catalog recycling participation and contamination rate through data collection and photo log;
  • Deliver outreach to residents to encourage proper recycling/waste disposal;
  • Educate residents at a local events and gatherings alongside ecomaine representatives;
  • Attend weekly cohort meetings;
  • Promote the Recyclopedia App;
  • Write a blog post and/or op-ed article sharing experiences and recommendations;
  • Present a summary report to municipal Council at the end of the internship, outlining completed activities and measured

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Most important skills of the position are reliability, integrity, initiative, and honesty;
  • Desire to learn more about local environmental issues and sustainability initiatives;
  • Ability to communicate effectively in a clear and convincing manner, both orally and in writing;
  • Ability to show up on time and work during early mornings;
  • Strong interpersonal skills to listen and respond courteously and empathetically to others;
  • Experience relating well to people of all ages from varied cultural, economic, and racial backgrounds;
  • Proficiency in collecting and managing data with the ability to think critically about results;
  • Self-directed and able to work both collaboratively and independently without supervision;
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation;
  • Ability to lift and carry a minimum of 50 and stand/walk for extended periods of time.

To Apply

Send a letter of interest and resume to the contact person listed below for the municipality you are applying to. If you send multiple applications, please note this in your letter and indicate your preferred location.

  • Town of Falmouth

Kimberly Darling, Energy & Sustainability Coordinator kdarling@falmouthme.org 207-699-5337

  • Town of Scarborough

Complete online application at http://bit.ly/scarborough-jobs Direct questions to Jami Fitch, Sustainability Coordinator jfitch@scarboroughmaine.org 207-730-4035

  • Town of Windham

Complete online application at https://www.windhammaine.us/jobs.aspx

Direct questions to Gretchen Anderson, Environmental & Sustainability Coordinator gaanderson@windhammaine.us 207-892-1909

  • City of South Portland

Lucy Brennan, Sustainability Associate lbrennan@southportland.org 207-347-4147

The deadline to apply is Monday, April 1, 2019. All are EOE.

Background Information

Over the past year, ebbs and flows in the global recycling market have resulted in rippling effects on our local waste management practices. To address larger market changes, ecomaine is looking at new recycling importers and cracking down on contaminated loads of recycling. The only way to bring costs down and adjust to new standards is to ensure that ecomaine is getting clean recycling.

Amidst these tightening standards, cities and towns across Maine have been grappling with high rates of contamination in recycling loads. In response, Sustainability Offices launched robust outreach and education programming, often leveraging shared materials. Tabling displays, social media campaigns, tagging bins, and heightened enforcement are underway in an effort to reduce the amount of trash in recycling loads. These resources have started to foster a better community understanding of how to recycle properly.

With continued uncertainty in the recycling market, select communities have come together to work collectively towards improving recycling. This spring/summer, a team of interns will play a central role in continuing community outreach and education campaigns across member communities. Consistent personal outreach and education ensures local residents understand proper recycling/waste disposal and take appropriate action. Outreach will not only address contamination issues but also help communities work toward recycling and waste reduction goals.