Environmental Programs Specialist

City of Sunnyvale
Full Time $43 - $55 Per hour CA City of Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Plant, 1444 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94089, United States


Regulatory Programs, Solid Waste, and Water and Sewer Divisions
Regular Full-Time Employment Opportunities

The recruitment opens on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, and the final filing date is Tuesday, June 25, 2024, at 5:00 pm or after receiving 100 qualified and complete applications, whichever is first. 

Please note: Only the first 100 qualified and complete applications will be considered for this position. A complete application consists of a City application and responses to the supplemental questionnaire.

The Environmental Services Department provides comprehensive and innovative utility services for Sunnyvale’s residents and businesses, including initiatives to achieve the City’s sustainability and zero waste objectives. The department brings together technical, operational, and administrative professional disciplines to form its dedicated and dynamic team.

We are seeking energetic, creative, organized program professionals to advance our environmental goals by engaging the community and designing responsive programs.

We are currently recruiting for the following Environmental Program Specialist positions:

Regulatory Programs Division: Implement Watershed stewardship programs focused on pollution prevention practices for stormwater and wastewater management.

*Regulatory Programs Division: Implement Sustainability programs (e.g. building or transportation electrification) including policy development, program design and implementation, and community engagement.

*Solid Waste Division: Implement Zero Waste programs including SB1383 compliance, waste management technical assistance, outreach and enforcement for multi-family dwelling and commercial businesses.

*Water and Sewer Division: Implement Water Conservation programs to support “Water Conservation as a Way of Life.”

*These are new positions included in the recommended budget for FY 2024-25, which will be considered by the Sunnyvale City Council on June 18, 2024.

The eligibility list from this recruitment may also be used to fill future vacancies in the classification.

All positions are responsible for developing, planning, and implementing environmental programs, and are expected to become knowledgeable about all of the Department’s service areas, regardless of which division they are assigned to. The positions provide an opportunity for candidates to enhance their marketing, engagement, and collaboration skills as well as build a solid understanding of City policy and program development and implementation.


Under the general supervision of an Environmental Programs Manager, plans, coordinates, monitors, and oversees environmental programs in the Regulatory Compliance and Sustainability Division. Incumbents follow federal, state, and local laws, guidelines, and regulations; performs professional-level technical and analytical work; coordinates community outreach events; assists with compliance and regulatory reporting in assigned program areas and performs related work as assigned. The incumbent participates as a responsible, proactive, and professional team member.

Environmental Programs Specialist I – Incumbents perform assigned duties under general supervision. Incumbents develop and implement environmental-based programs; actively participate as a key leader/member; demonstrate successful performance of assigned programmatic duties; demonstrate strong technical and analytical background to analyze and interpret pertinent data and documentation. As experience is gained, there is the greater independence of action within established guidelines. The classification is flexibly staffed with Environmental Programs Specialist II. Incumbents are not automatically promoted to the higher level; the needs of the department determine the level of assignment.

Essential Job Functions

(May include, but are not limited to, the following): 

  • Assist in the development and implementation of departmental goals, objectives, policies, and procedures by providing leadership and cooperative participation on programmatic work teams; contributing input and expertise in highly complex and technical program area(s) as necessary and upon request.
  • Develops outreach materials and coordinates with graphic designers, printers and mail house services for printing/mailing/distribution of final collateral pieces.
  • Writes clear, concise articles on program topics for a variety of outreach pieces including social media, web posts, and newsletters ensuring Environmental Services Department branding and messaging is consistent and coordinated.
  • Use Community Based Social Marketing techniques, incorporating the techniques and evaluation methods in the City's environmental outreach campaigns.
  • Educates and trains City staff, property and business owners, tenants and the public through individual contact in the field, over the phone, at workshops or community events or other appropriate means.
  • Schedules and conducts presentations at schools and various meetings.
  • Prepares administrative and technical reports related to assigned program area including for regulatory agencies.
  • Responds to phone and written requests for information.
  • Conducts tours of water, solid waste/recycling, and wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Serves as staff liaison with community advisory committees and other groups.
  • Plans and participates in meetings with the Environmental Services Department or City staff to share information and coordinate projects.
  • Participates in meetings, organizations, committee workshops and conferences.
  • Keeps abreast of environmental trends, issues, and the impact of local, state and federal legislation and regulations on programs, services and facilities and the impact on the community.
  • May direct and supervise staff, volunteers, or the public in developing, implementing, and administering programs.

Position requires prolonged sitting, standing, walking, reaching, twisting, turning, kneeling, bending, squatting, and stooping in the performance of daily activities. The position also requires grasping, repetitive hand movement, and fine coordination in using a computer keyboard.  Additionally, the position requires near and far vision in reading reports and work-related documents, and using a computer. Acute hearing is required when providing phone and personal customer service. The need to lift, drag and push files, paper, books and documents weighing up to 25 pounds is also required. Some duties require incumbents to climb rungs attached to debris boxes, open and sort bags of garbage and recycled materials during waste audits, and work outdoors in various weather conditions. Some of these requirements may be accommodated for otherwise qualified individuals requiring and requesting such accommodation.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Experience
The minimum qualifications for education and experience can be met in the following way:

A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in environmental studies environmental science, sustainability, or a related field; AND

One year of experience in environmental program development, coordination and/or implementation or related field.

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of environmental sciences.
  • Principles and practices of program and policy development and implementation.
  • Principles and practices of outreach and education methodologies including Community Based Social Marketing.
  • Federal, State, County and City regulations and programs concerning environmental issues.
  • Basic research, data collection, and data analysis techniques.
  • Office methods, procedures, software, and equipment.
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service to public and City staff, in person, via email, and over the phone.
Ability to:
  • Plan, organize and implement environmental programs in a specialized area.
  • Facilitate meetings, presentations, and other activities in support of assigned programs.
  • Speak effectively in front of groups.
  • Conduct meetings with customers to review and resolve recycling/garbage challenges and/or address other environmental services issues.
  • Analyze and understand difficult issues in an assigned area of responsibility.
  • Understand, follow and communicate clearly, concisely, and tactfully both written and oral instructions.
  • Coordinate and physically conduct field work such as waste audits at customer sites or the SMaRT Station, or trash hot spot cleanups.
  • Establish, maintain and promote positive and effective working relationships with employees, other agencies and the public.
  • Demonstrate initiative and exercise good judgment in the performance of duties.
  • Exercise initiative, ingenuity and sound judgment in solving problems and developing effective solutions within the role of an Environmental Services Specialist.
  • Understand, interpret and explain relevant portions of the Municipal Code, as well as relevant laws and regulations to technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Work independently and as a team member; recognize and set priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Operate a computer using word processing and business software and other office equipment.
  • Observe safety principles and work in a safe manner.
Willingness to:
  • Work weekends and attend night meetings when needed.
  • Attend professional workshops and conferences as resources allow.
Possession and continued maintenance of a valid California class C driver's license or the ability to provide alternative transportation as approved by the appointing authority and a safe driving record.

  • Fluency in one or more languages other than English.
  • Public sector work experience.

Application and Selection Process

The application period closes on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, at 5:00pm or after receiving the first 100 qualified and complete applications, whichever is first (postmarks or faxes are not accepted). Candidates are asked to fully describe any training, education, experience, or skills relevant to this position. Electronic applications may be submitted online through the City's employment page at, and click on 'City Jobs'. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Applications will be competitively screened based on the minimum qualifications of this position.Based upon a review of the application materials, the most qualified candidates will be invited to participate in the oral examination process scheduled for Tuesday, July 16, and Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (Note: The examination process may be changed as deemed necessary by the Director of Human Resources.)

Those candidates that receive a passing score on the examination will be placed on an eligibility list for up to one year, in accordance with the City's Civil Service Rules and Administrative Policies. Top candidates on the eligibility list will be invited to participate in a selection interview with the department tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, July 24, 2024. 

Any candidate that is selected by the hiring department will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment process, which may consist of a background history check, as well as a medical exam(s) administered by a City selected physician(s) before hire. Prior to starting work, all newly-hired employees will be fingerprinted to check conviction history. A conviction history will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from appointment; however, failure to disclose conviction history will result in refusal of employment or termination. Positions which are covered by the Department of Transportation regulations are required to submit to a pre-employment drug test and to random drug and alcohol testing.

Any successful candidate, selected by the hiring department will be required to submit proof of education (i.e. original copy of the diploma or college/university transcripts).

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The information contained within this announcement may be modified or revoked without notice and does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract.

The City of Sunnyvale is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the policy of the City of Sunnyvale not to discriminate against all qualified applicants or employees on the basis of actual or perceived race, religion (including religious dress or grooming practice), color, sex (includes gender, pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding), gender identity and/or gender expression, sexual orientation (including heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality), ethnic or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, uniformed service member status, marital status, family relationship, age, cancer or HIV/AIDS related medical condition, genetic characteristics and/or genetic information, and physical or mental disability. Applicants needing special accommodations for testing should submit a request to the Department of Human Resources at time of application.