Zero Waste Policy Manager

About IEC

Since 1975, the Illinois Environmental Council has worked to safeguard Illinois—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends by building power for people and the environment. Representing over 100 environmental organizations and individuals from across the state, IEC carries out its mission to advance public policies that create healthy environments across Illinois through education, advocacy and movement building.

IEC advances sound environmental laws and policies at all levels of government by bringing together the Illinois environmental community to influence decision makers and ensure clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. From lobbying at the State Capitol to building consensus around an annual environmental agenda, IEC takes pride in leading our environmental movement in Illinois. We coordinate our affiliate member organizations to share resources, mobilize supporters and respond quickly to the most pressing issues facing the environment in Illinois.

IEC also supports environmental activists across the state, building programs to cultivate the next generation of environmental leadership, such as our Young Professionals Board, Community Council, annual environmental scorecards, and other educational programs like our Civics for Environmentalists and Lunch & Learn series.

About the Position

The Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund (IECEF) is looking to expand our work on resource management, including source reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting.

Previous experience with policy and advocacy is desired. Previous professional work experience is required.
This position will be located in Chicago, IL or Springfield, IL, and is hybrid, with two days required in the office per week. The position is full-time and may include evening and weekend work and travel to either Chicago or Springfield, depending on the location of the applicant.

About You

We’re looking for a self-motivated individual who is excited by the challenge of addressing the biggest challenges facing Illinois by bringing together diverse stakeholders. You should be a hard-working individual that is excited to take on any task.

We are a small, dynamic team that relies on each other to produce high-quality work.

You are excited about the opportunity to reduce plastic usage, cut methane emissions from food scrap and organics, and support innovative ways to fund curbside recycling.  You like to work collaboratively with other organizations and community leaders.

We strongly encourage candidates of all different backgrounds and identities to apply. Each new hire is an opportunity for us to bring in a different perspective, and we are always eager to diversify our organization further. IEC/IECEF is committed to building an inclusive, supportive place for you to do the best and most rewarding work of your career.


  • Track, analyze and support the implementation of the legislation that reduces the use of natural resources and wasted material.
  • Track and analyze waste related ordinances and activities at the Chicago City Council and other areas of City government.  Work with our partners to draft, negotiate, and pass new ordinances and initiatives.
  • Help increase the organization’s position as a thought- and action-leader on source reduction, recycling, and composting.
  • Build relationships with decision makers.
  • Bring and develop expertise on waste and climate issues.
  • Review policies from other states, and develop position and strategy analyses on how they could be adopted in Illinois.
  • Review policies from other cities, and develop position and strategy analyses on how they  could be adopted in the city of Chicago.
  • Develop relationships with and help support environmental justice and community-based organizations.
  • Convene and coordinate meetings, take notes, and otherwise provide administrative support to any coalitions or other convenings related to waste reduction policy.


  • Previous work experience is required.
  • A degree in public policy, public administration, environmental issues, or political science is preferred.
  • Expertise in source reduction, curbside recycling, composting, or other waste and materials management-related issues.
  • Experience working with Chicago City Council, the Illinois State Legislature, or any government agencies.
  • Experience working in and with frontline and/or environmental justice organizations.
  • Excellent written communication skills.
  • Proficiency using both the Microsoft and Google software suites.
  • Ability to work with diverse groups and people.
  • Highly organized.
  • Ability to coordinate multiple tasks and work independently.
  • Interest in environmental issues and policies.

Equal Opportunity Employer

IEC/IECEF is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, gender expression or identity, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status, protective order status, veteran status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, ancestry, religion, pregnancy, certain arrest or criminal history records, homelessness and use of lawful products outside of work during non-working hours or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.

Equity, Allyship, and Powerbuilding Values

IEC/IECEF is always working to ensure that everyone on our team feels engaged and supported in all areas of the organization’s operations as we work to become a fully inclusive, multi-cultural, and anti-racist organization.

We are only as powerful as the people in our movement and those we serve. Building power for people and our environment in Illinois requires us to actively combat social and political power dynamics that disenfranchise marginalized communities across a broad range of issues beyond those that fall squarely within traditional environmental policy. When marginalized communities are empowered, environmental protections become more possible. Thus we are called to stand in solidarity as allies with those fighting for justice and to strengthen our democratic institutions where power drives policy change.

About Our Pay and Benefits

This is a full-time position located in Illinois. Benefits include health insurance, dental insurance, a 401(k) plan, and vacation. Salary range is $60,000-$80,000. Cover letter MUST include salary requirements. Candidates with salary requirements above the listed salary range will not be considered.

How to Apply

Introduce yourself to us as a colleague. Show us your future here! We value great writers, so be yourself, be creative, and take your time with the application. There’s no prize for being the first to submit! Stock cover letters won’t do. Tell us why you want this job.

Applications must be received by February 21, 2023

To apply, please send a cover letter with salary requirements and resume to Jen Walling by email:

Please direct all questions to Jen Walling via email.

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