Principal Solid Waste Planner position, Metro Regional Government, Portland, Oregon

Principal Solid Waste Planner, Metro Regional Government, Portland, Oregon

Salary:   $88,982.40 – $119,225.60 Annually
Location: Portland, OR
Job Type: Full Time
Remote Employment: Flexible/Hybrid
Job Number: 2022-0346-WPES
Department:  Waste Prevention and Environmental Services
Closing date and time:  12/23/2022 at 5:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada); Tijuana
Position summary
Metro is dedicated to shaping a better future for the greater Portland region. The work the people of Metro do every day benefits the lives of the people who live here, today and tomorrow. We offer a highly competitive compensation and benefits program. Learn more about the benefits Metro offers.

Are you someone who is human-centered, solutions oriented, with solid planning, communications, and project management credentials? Are you a strategic thinker with a high level of planning experience in a complex solid waste management, public utility, or related field? Can you manage long term projects coordinating across multiple divisions, project teams, stakeholders, and industry to deliver high quality outcomes? Do you have contract procurement and management experience for capital projects and facility operations in solid waste or public utility settings? If this sounds like you, the Principal Solid Waste Planner position could be a great fit.

As the regional solid waste authority, Metro oversees solid waste management – commonly known as garbage and recycling – generated in the region. This includes a growing portfolio of eight different operational sites across the region including two garbage and recycling transfer stations and household hazardous waste facilities, St. John’s landfill, Metro Paint recycling facility and a deployment center that houses our community clean-up service teams. This position will support the operation of existing facilities through major contract procurement and management responsibilities, managing infrastructure improvement projects, as well as help plan future capital investments in the Metro region’s solid waste, recycling, reuse and repair infrastructure.

The Principal Solid Waste Planner works collaboratively with other groups within Metro including:  Garbage and Recycling Operations, Analytics, and Policy and Compliance divisions as well as Finance and Regulatory Services and Metro attorneys. As a Principal Planner the position also is responsible for developing and recommending departmental policy and financial strategies to senior leadership and will be responsible for briefing and presenting project content and recommendations to Metro’s elected officials.

WPES is committed to leading with equity in everything we do. We are guided by the 2030 Regional Waste Plan, which focuses on advancing racial equity, reducing the environmental and health impacts of products, maintaining and improving our garbage and recycling system, and rectifying the historic and ongoing inequities of that system on communities of color and others in our region.

If you are committed to advancing racial equity and dismantling systems that oppress people of color and other disadvantaged communities, and to fostering increased livability, sustainability, and justice throughout the region, we invite you to join us in this critical work.

A Principal Solid Waste Planner:

  • RFP and Contracts-oversees procurement for and ongoing management of major contracts supporting the operation of Metro’s solid waste system.
  • Plans, develops, and executes programs, objectives, strategies, and budgets for assigned programs and/or projects where success or failure can affect general Metro activities, public concern, or the work of other professionals within and outside the Department.
  • Develops capital requirements, budgets, and solid waste flow projections for departmental programs.
  • Manages major solid waste project(s) with broad public impact or that are highly controversial with the public, private interests, or outside agencies. Manages multiple projects that require a high level of proficiency within area of expertise. Projects generally require the management of project funds.
  • Develops methodologies and information resources and techniques to be used to conduct planning studies and research for the development of programs/projects; analyzes the impacts, costs and benefits of solid waste project related improvements and alternatives. Develops policy recommendations based on the analysis of results and develops appropriate systems for implementation.
  • Analyzes regional, national, and international program and policy trends.
  • Prepares complex technical solid waste management planning and administrative reports, special studies; conducts assessments; prepares inventories and statistical information necessary for future planning; develops critical correspondence and comprehensive reports in support of projects and decisions.
  • Leads professional staff in developing financial strategies and products for their implementation. Coordinates the selection of consultants, originates and administers agreements with other agencies and private contractors or consultants as appropriate.
  • Develops and maintains effective relations with the public. Represents Metro at meetings and provides technical expertise on solid waste management issues with local jurisdictions, regulated parties, and other agencies. Addresses concerns of local jurisdictions and private parties related to project impacts. Responds to solid waste management issues raised by technical and policy advisory committees. May lead such committees.
  • Evaluates solid waste management program and project accomplishments against established goals and timetables and makes recommendations concerning future plans.

Attributes for success:

  • Thorough knowledge of solid waste management principles, methods and procedures at the city, county, regional and national levels
  • Knowledge of the environmental, social, economic, and legal issues related to solid waste planning and development; statistical methods and their application to systems planning; principles of financial analysis and cost benefit analysis
  • Advanced solid waste management planning research methods and techniques
  • Knowledge of public policy development processes and practices
  • Ability to develop comprehensive reports and plans regarding complex solid waste management planning issues and projects
  • Ability to compile and analyze complex data and develop logical recommendations
  • Knowledge and skill in the use of computers for word processing, financial evaluation of alternatives, and graphical displays for presentations
  • Ability to effectively communicate with individuals and groups regarding complex or controversial public policy issues or regulations
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with public officials, planning staff, private interests, and the public
  • Knowledge of budget issues associated with capital planning projects and the ability to prepare budget proposals for proposed and ongoing solid waste projects and facility
  • Ability to function as lead over other professional staff
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to promote and support Metro and WPES values, mission and strategic plan
  • Commitment to inclusive government delivery of services to address past harm to historically marginalized communities
  • Commitment to embracing Metro values especially those outlined in the Metro Strategic Plan to Advance Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (2016) (Download PDF reader)

Diversity and inclusion: At Metro, we are committed to hiring a workforce representative of the communities we serve, recognizing that a diverse workforce strengthens our organization. We invest in employees by supporting equitable and inclusive hiring practices, employee policies and training programs.
We will consider any combination of relevant work experience, volunteering, education, and transferable skills as qualifying unless an item or section is labeled required. Please be clear and specific in your application materials on how your background is relevant.

Minimum requirements:

  • Five years of related experience in solid waste or public utility, project management, process improvement, or equivalent AND
  • A Master’s degree in Economics, Public Administration, Environmental Sciences, Public Policy or related field; OR
  • Any combination of experience and education which provides the applicant with the desired skills, knowledge and ability required to perform the job.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Strong collaborative leadership skills and a demonstrated ability to form and maintain partnerships, lead groups, and to work effectively with others on a common task
  • PMP certification or equivalent
  • Five years major public contract procurement and contract management experience

COVID-19 vaccination requirement:
Metro is committed to ensuring the health and safety for our employees and our community. As a part of this commitment, Metro has implemented a vaccine requirement policy for employees, paid and unpaid interns and volunteers.
Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is considered a minimum qualification requirement for Metro job applicants. This proof will be requested during the hiring process.
If you require an accommodation under this policy for a medical condition or disability, or sincerely held religious belief, please email

If this statement is true for you, then you may be ineligible to apply:

If I was terminated for cause during any of my employment with Metro, or resigned in lieu of termination, I understand I may be ineligible for rehire for a minimum of 3 years.
Based on the Oregon Pay Equity Act requirements, Metro’s internal equity review process, and the candidates’ qualifications, the appointment will typically be made between $88982.40 to $103001.60. The full-salary range for this position is $88,982.40 to $119,225.60 annually.

This position is not eligible for overtime, and is represented by AFSCME. It is classified as Principal Solid Waste Planner (Download PDF reader). Classification descriptions are typically written broadly and do not include the specific duties and responsibilities of the positions.

The application packet: The application packet consists of the following documents. Please ensure that you upload these documents in your online application. Make sure your application is complete, missing any part of these items could result in an incomplete application and will not be moved forward in the recruitment.

  • A Cover Letter
  • A Completed Resume 
  • Responses to Supplemental Questions 

The selection process: We expect to evaluate candidates for this recruitment as follows. The selection process is subject to change.

  • Initial review of minimum qualifications
  • In-depth evaluation of application materials to identify the most qualified candidates
  • Consideration of top candidates/interviews
  • Reference check
  • Background, driving records check for finalist candidate


Additional Information
Recruiter: Carrie Gundermann
COVID-19 safety: The health and safety of our employees and community is a top priority for Metro. Employees will be required to follow all Metro COVID-related policies and procedures, which may meet or exceed guidelines set forth by the CDC, Oregon Health Authority, and other federal, state and local jurisdictions. Learn more at employment opportunity:  All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability for which a reasonable accommodation can be made or any other status protected by law. Assistance will be gladly provided upon request for any applicant with sensory or non-sensory disabilities.

Online applications: Metro accepts job applications online. If you need assistance or accommodation with your application, or access to a computer, call 503-797-1570.

Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation is available to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing this application or participating in this process. To obtain confidential assistance please contact Human Resources 503-797-1570.

Pay equity at Metro: Every worker must get equal pay for equal work regardless of your gender, race, age or other protected characteristics. Metro has established processes and conducts routine pay equity reviews as part of the hiring process to ensure compliance with the 2017 Oregon Pay Equity Act.

Public Employees Retirement System (PERS): Unless otherwise stated in a collective bargaining agreement, Metro pays both the employee and employer portion of PERS contributions for eligible employees.

Veterans’ preference: Under Oregon Law, qualified veterans may be eligible for veterans’ preference when applying for Metro positions. If you are a veteran and would like to be considered for a veterans’ preference for this job, please provide qualifying documents as instructed during the application process.


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