DEQ (Material Recovery Specialist) Closes 9/26/2016

Natural Resource Specialist 3 (Material Recovery Specialist)



 $4,062.00 - $5,933.00 Monthly$4,062.00 - $5,933.00 Monthly

Department Environmental Quality - Environmental Solutions Division

Job Number DEQ16-0085

Closing 9/26/2016 11:59 PM Pacific


This position is currently located in downtown Portland.  In November 2016, DEQ Headquarters will be moving to 700 NE Multnomah Street, also known as the Lloyd 700 building.

DEQ's mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon's air, land and water. As a regulatory agency whose job is to protect the quality of Oregon's environment, DEQ works with Oregonians for a healthy, sustainable environment.
The Environmental Solutions Division is responsible for collecting environmental information, analyzing environmental information and developing sound and effective environmental strategies. The Division ensures that the technical and scientific expertise is available to inform and carry out these responsibilities. In partnership with others, the Division takes a comprehensive and holistic view of environmental impacts and seeks to create solutions that enable actions that can reduce those impacts.
The Materials Management section plans and implements policies and programs to reduce impacts of materials and products throughout their full life cycle, from design and production through distribution, consumption and use and management at end-of-life.  The section establishes goals and measures; supports and performs research; develops and implements incentive, product stewardship, waste reduction, and waste management programs; provides education and information; and collaborates with diverse public and private partners.

DEQ's Materials Management section has an opening for one (1) Natural Resource Specialist 3 Material Recovery Specialist.  The purpose of this position is to develop and implement  strategies to increase and improve recovery of high impact materials.  The person in this position will conduct analysis to determine barriers, program and policy options to increase and improve recovery of high impact materials.  He/she will work with partners in the industry and other stakeholders to evaluate existing material recovery programs and different management options.  A strong focus on multi-tenant recycling will define the initial work for this position.  This position will lead the evaluation of multi-tenant recycling programs in preparation for a required 2019 legislative report (ORS 459A.015(Sec.13c)).  This position will coordinate and discuss strategies with other states and oversee grants to local governments, contracts and/or pilot projects as appropriate.

The pool of qualified applicants established from this announcement may be used to fill future vacancies, both limited duration and permanent, and for other DEQ office locations.

Duties & Responsibilities

Duties of this position include but are not limited to:

Analysis and Evaluation

  • Writes, reviews, evaluates and edits technical reports related to recovery trends, and life cycle impacts of materials.

  • Conducts investigations and analysis to determine barriers, program and policy options, and steps needed to increase and improve recovery with an initial focus on multi-tenant recovery programs.  Evaluates potential effects of options. Draws conclusions and makes recommendations based on this analysis. Develops strategies to implement options.  Other program areas this position may focus on include plastics, food, and carpet recovery. 

  • Reviews legislation and proposed regulations related to Oregon's recovery programs. Develops and recommends policies on recovery to higher level staff or supervisor.

  • Writes technical reports and memos to document research findings, agency decisions, and evaluation of recovery program progress.

Project Management

  • Initiates and manages complex material recovery-oriented projects, including projects to implement recovery strategy developed through initial research and program development. Serves as a project leader, develops project plans, and coordinates schedules for material recovery projects. Identifies and secures project team members, clarifies roles and responsibilities of each. Identifies resources and regulatory or administrative steps needed for project completion. Consults with appropriate internal and external partners and stakeholders.

  • Serves as a technical resource on recovery, particularly on maximizing its benefits. Engages with other state and local agencies, interested stakeholders and the public as a participant and convener of technical or policy advisory committees.

  • Monitors project status to ensure progress toward completion, compliance with specifications, full and timely completion of required procedural steps, and informing interested groups and individuals. Compiles monthly, quarterly, and annual reports on status of ongoing projects. Ensures accurate project information.

  • May administer consultant contracts for projects, including hiring consultants and/or contractors, and directing and coordinating their work. Works with manager to develop plans, scopes of work, budgets, and schedules. Reviews contractor / consultant work for compliance with relevant laws, regulations, policies and procedures.


  • Independently designs and conducts research related to material recovery. Establishes and defines research methodology, scope, content, schedules and budgets for studies evaluating the environmental impacts and benefits of different material recovery processes.

  • Obtains and evaluates data from academic publications, agency and industry documents, and other environmental studies. Conducts or hires a contractor to perform primary research when data is not available.

  • Writes technical reports that include project purpose, methodology, results, analysis and discussion of recommendations. Summarizes information and recommendations for manager. 

Technical Assistance, Agency Representation, and Stakeholder Outreach

  • Works with manager to identify stakeholder list, determine appropriate roles for internal and external partners, and a process for stakeholder involvement. Develops and maintains relationships with key stakeholder groups.

  • Facilitate and/or present information to stakeholder groups

  • Represents the agency as an expert on material recovery and other aspects of materials management at public hearings and meetings, citizen advisory committee meetings, technical advisory committee meetings, and local civic organizations. Gives written and oral information relating to specific materials management projects or concerns.

  • Provides technical expertise on material recovery policies and implementation to DEQ staff, local governments, material recovery businesses, and the public. Interprets laws, rules, regulations and policies for these entities, and documents findings in strategies, guidance documents and other memos.

  • Evaluates and responds to public or media questions, comments, and concerns. Prepares and answers correspondence from local agencies and the public on major technical or policy issues related to material recovery. Analyzes, assesses, and responds to public and agency comments on draft documents.

Program Operation

  • Evaluates material recovery program effectiveness and recommends modifications to program manager.

  • Assists program manager in developing and carrying out short- and long-range goals and objectives for special projects or specific program areas. Coordinates materials management and material recovery development activities with the other state agencies, advisory committees, industry, or special interest groups.

  • Conducts studies on complex material recovery issues and their effects on materials management program. Evaluates needs, writes rules, and prepares and presents staff reports for rule making or other decision making of director, or Environmental Quality Commission to carry out materials management program activities.

Working Conditions
Work is primarily in an office environment.  Includes occasional travel in- and out-of-state for meetings, conferences, workshops and training; occasional site visits to businesses involved with materials management such as tours of manufacturing, processing and reuse/recycling facilities.  Infrequent night and weekend meetings.


Qualifications, Required & Requested Skills


Minimum Qualifications - To be considered a qualified applicant you must meet the following criteria:

Three (3) years of experience in natural resource program. At least one year of the experience must be at a technical or professional level performing activities in a natural resource program such as researching and analyzing data, conducting investigations, applying pertinent laws and regulations, or coordinating and monitoring project activities;


  • A Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science, Natural Resource Science, Environmental Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, Physiology or a degree related to the position, OR

  • Three (3) additional years of related (pertinent) experience.                       

A Master's degree in Environmental Science, Natural Resource Science, Environmental Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, Physiology or a degree related to the position, will substitute for up to one year of the required experience.

A Doctorate degree in Environmental Science, Natural Resource Science, Environmental Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, Physiology or a degree related to the position, will substitute for up to two years of the required experience.

NOTE: To receive credit for all required/related coursework, a photocopy of transcripts is required.

Applicants that do not immediately meet the Minimum Qualifications for the NRS3, but can meet the Minimum Qualifications listed above within 12 months of being hired may be considered for this recruitment


Requested Skills - Preference may be given to applicants who can demonstrate knowledge, skill or experience in the following areas:

  • Working knowledge of Oregon's solid waste system

  • Experience designing and implementing local recycling programs

  • Knowledge of multi-tenant recycling barriers and opportunities

  • Strong coordination and communication ethic

  • Creativity/innovation

  • Research

  • Survey design, execution, analysis and interpretation

  • Critical thinking, analysis, problem solving

  • Adaptability/flexibility/resilience

  • Project management skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Cooperation/collaboration/teamwork

  • Conflict resolution

  • Strong written and oral communications

  • Meeting facilitation

  • Knowledge of life cycle impacts of materials and products

  • Ability to envision alternative futures for production, consumption, reuse and recovery of materials and identify reasonable strategies leading to these


Additional Information

Application Screening: In order to evaluate your experience as it relates to this position, we need detailed responses to the supplemental questions. Please respond completely in the space provided. Responses to the supplemental questions will be considered when determining which applicants, among those who meet the minimum qualifications, will be invited to interview. Failure to respond to each question in the space provided for that question may result in disqualification of your application.

Your application and application materials must be consistent and thorough in order to be considered. If the information contained in your answers to each of the supplemental questions is not reflected in your work history, your application may be removed from consideration. A cover letter and/or resume will not be accepted as a substitute for the work history section or answers to the supplemental questions.

Please note that your responses may also be evaluated for grammar, spelling and punctuation.

To apply for this position, follow the "Apply" link above to complete the Oregon Employment Application online. All application materials must be received by the closing date/time posted.

Only complete applications will be considered. Be sure to answer all supplemental questions and attach any required documents. Please note that an attached cover letter is required to be considered for this position.

Information in your application, as well as responses to the supplemental questions, will be reviewed to determine candidates who qualify and whose experience best matches the requested skills.

To receive credit for higher education coursework, transcripts (official or unofficial) must be submitted at the time of application. Note: To protect your confidential information, please redact (black out) your social security number on all transcripts before attaching to your application.

Salary: The Department of Environmental Quality's practice is to begin employees at the first pay step. However, a higher starting pay rate may be considered, budget permitting, depending upon the applicant's work history and current total compensation (salary/benefits/retirement).

Union: This position is represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Local 3336.

The State of Oregon requires all applicants provide an email address. If you do not currently have an e-mail address, please refer to our applicant Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. The State of Oregon does not endorse any particular provider. For your convenience, here is a link to the page.

The Department of Environmental Quality is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. DEQ welcomes applications from women, veterans, people of color, and individuals with disabilities.

If you have a disability or otherwise require assistance, you may contact us at:

Department of Environmental Quality
Human Resources Office
811 SW Sixth Ave
Portland OR 97204
(503) 229-5382

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