Sustainability Senior Manager, Circular Material Economies - City of Boulder

Post Date: 7/15/2022
Opportunity Type: Job
Organization/Grantor: City of Boulder
Position/Title/Fund: Sustainability Senior Manager, Circular Material Economies - Full-time
Deadline: July 22, 2022
Location: Boulder, CO (flexible hybrid)

The city of Boulder’s vision is to work toward a new economic and resource system that delivers better outcomes for people and the environment, where business models, products, and materials are designed to increase use and reuse, replicating the balance of the natural world where nothing becomes waste and everything has value. This position will provide leadership and innovation for a circular materials economy, increasingly built on renewable resources, is diverse, and inclusive. 

Under limited direction, the Sustainability Manager for Circular Materials Economies works closely with community stakeholders to strategize, envision, and manage circular economy programs for the city of Boulder, including but not limited to management of the zero-waste team within the Climate Initiatives department; as well as developing, recommending, and implementing strategies and policies to achieve the city's climate and circular economy/zero waste goals.  In addition, the Sustainability Manager for Circular Materials will work with department leadership to envision and develop a circular framework for other focus area work programs.

This position manages an approximately $2 million budget from a variety of taxes and fees relating to waste management including the trash tax, reusable bag fees and other environmental funds; creates, coordinates, and manages the social, economic and environmental aspects of circular economy programs and services delivered directly to residents and businesses. This position works to facilitate and support coordinated planning, action and regulation for waste reduction and other circular economy programs; serves as a member of the department’s management team, promotes the department-wide goal of climate justice and climate resilience; represents the division and department before City Council, appointed boards and other groups; and, fosters community leadership, providing a high level of customer service to community members and other city departments.  Performs related duties as required.


1. Strategy and Policy Development: Provide leadership, facilitate community technical teams and working groups, and engage community stakeholders and partners to develop circular economy, zero waste and other programs and services. Generate creative options to determine effective ways to create and improve services valued by customers and the community.  Evaluate ideas for their practical and creative merits as solutions to current and future problems. This includes, but is not limited, to the following: 

  • Identify areas in which Boulder can make the most significant, tangible progress in realizing a circular economy. 
  • Lead the design and implementation of a Circular Economy Strategy for Boulder including ambitions and courses of action for the future, a roadmap for implementation and action agenda for how the Strategy aligns with and supports Boulders climate, resilience, and equity-based goals.  
  • Provide leadership to develop, recommend, and implement next-generation circular economy programs. 
  • Evaluate the diversion and participation targets of existing zero waste programs, and develop and modify programs and evaluation metrics, to ensure community values are reflected and success is measured.  
  • Research next-generation circular economy initiatives, incorporating consumption-based targets and strategies; evaluate infrastructure, market readiness, legislative and funding opportunities.  
  • Understand the relationship between human behavior, program design, incentive structures and regulations to create comprehensive approaches that garner support and achieve results. 
  • Lead evaluation of specific tangible projects and the impact in terms of jobs, environment and added economic value. 
  • Create appropriate public processes to inform program goals and objectives and make policy recommendations to City Council. 
  • Develop and administer program budgets, make funding and staffing recommendations, and oversee fund disbursement. 
  • Collaborate with appropriate city staff on program synergies and the city organization’s efforts to contribute to city Master Plan updates and regional planning documents to identify local priorities for circular economy programs and projects.  
  • Wholly believe in and support the public process as a means to achieving better overall outcomes for the community. 
  • Evaluate approaches to circularity through the city’s focus on equity and resilience.

2. Technical Expertise 

  • Provides technical leadership in circular materials economies.  
  • Perform qualitative and/or quantitative analyses with the ability to develop tools and methods to measure program effectiveness with potentially limited access to actual performance data. 
  • Evaluate and recommend financial incentive structures that complement circular economy programs. 
  • Exercise insightful and innovative problem-solving techniques in addressing project or program requirements and develops new approaches and techniques when appropriate. 
  • Understand the local, regional, statewide and national circular economy efforts, as well as demonstrate a familiarity with local and regional zero waste partners in order to propose and analyze facilities, pilot and demonstration projects and long-term development investments for council and community consideration. 
  • Write, speak, and present clearly on qualitative and/or quantitative issues; effectively communicate results of analysis to staff, contractors, business organizations, stakeholders, department directors and City Council.  
  • Demonstrate insight and creativity in approaching and resolving technical problems in a manner that results in consistently high levels of team satisfaction.

3. Leadership and Supervision 

  • Provide leadership and technical expertise to the community, advisory groups, boards and committees. 
  • Facilitate community technical teams and engage community partners to develop business and residential program strategies, policies and regulations that support systems change and circular economy efforts. 
  • Develop collaborative relationships with the business and residential community; serve as a facilitator of community-based solutions. 
  • Manage circular economy, community funding processes and regulatory revisions.
  • Supervise staff and oversee the work plan of the zero waste team, ensuring the timely completion of work program items.
  • Oversee community engagement efforts performed in association with Climate Initiatives.
  • Support the team to appropriately develop and administer contracts for consultants. 

4. Other 

  • Demonstrate composure, confidence and respect when working with higher level management, boards and commissions, council members and business leaders and organizations.  
  • Work collaboratively and effectively with internal and external customers. 
  • Attend division, department, team and city meetings. 
  • Participate in professional development trainings as outlined in annual performance review. 
  • Perform related duties as required by management to meet the needs of the city and those it serves. 
  • Effectively manages consultants or contractors as needed to meet goals cost-effectively. 
  • Stay knowledgeable and up to date of trends in the field: remain aware of and be sensitive to community issues impacting the planning process. 
  • Take proper safety precautions to prevent accidents.
  • Responsible for the safety of self, others, materials, and equipment.
  • Use all required safety equipment and follows all safety regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Report all accidents and damage to city property. 
  • Responsible for knowing and complying with all city and department policies and procedures, providing leadership and oversight for insuring adherence to the city and department attendance and employment policies. 


Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Engineering, Environmental Policy, Environmental Planning, Environmental Management or related field plus a minimum of seven years of   experience in environmental management, environmental compliance, pollution prevention, waste minimization, waste reduction and/or circular economy principles; or any equivalent combination of education and/or experience.  Knowledgeable in current trends, practices, technology, evaluation methodology and information affecting circular economy and zero waste programs, as well as current and anticipated future regulatory environments. Demonstrated ability to create successful strategies, to effectively coordinate and manage complex projects and resolve issues.  Demonstrated strength in project management and work plan management, including proven ability to meet deadlines and keep high profile, complex projects on schedule.  Demonstrated ability to implement programs to meet objectives.  Ability to research, analyze and synthesize complex information, and prepare concise written reports, correspondence and recommendations.  Extensive supervisory experience and excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to maintain effective working relationships with business contacts, the  public, advisory boards, consultants and with employees at all levels of the organization.  Demonstrated verbal and written communication skills, including the demonstrated ability to make public presentations.  Demonstrated facilitation skills, and consensus-building skills, including in difficult or contentious situations.  Ability to lead and participate in teams; is comfortable with change and uncertainty; can be effective and make work-appropriate decisions based on available data. Ability and willingness to attend evening meetings and weekend events.  Have and maintain acceptable background information, including criminal conviction history and credit history.