City seeks volunteers for waste audit and behavior tracking project

Julie Reichle

Volunteers will conduct a walking audit of waste bins in Piedmont parks, like this one at the Japanese Tea Garden.

The City is currently seeking volunteers to help complete a waste bin audit and behavior tracking project. Volunteers will conduct field and desk research and deliver a final report of their research to City staff. This is a good position for current students age 18 or older, or other individuals who are interested in local government or environmental work. Particularly, this is an opportunity to learn more about waste diversion, public engagement, and communication. Volunteers will also aid Piedmont in reaching its goals under the City’s Climate Action Plan and benefit the environment.

Volunteers will be expected to complete the following during the course of the project:

● Bin Inventory: Complete a walking audit of Piedmont parks and other public places to
locate and inventory all of the trash, recycling, and compost bins in the City. This
information will be used in future decision-making processes, so accurate information
gathering is key. Volunteers will use this information and compile a map and/or database
of all bin locations.

● Gathering Usage Data: Volunteers will keep track of usage of various bins, and track data
over time. Volunteers may also offer assistance with sorting into bins. This task may
include sitting by a bin location for a period of time and keeping track of how many people
use the bin, what they put in the bin, etc. Volunteers may be asked to complete a waste
characterization of different public bins to see how residents are sorting their waste.

● Education and Engagement: Volunteers will meet with the Sustainability Program
Manager weekly and will have a chance to ask questions about solid waste, compost, and
recycling and learn more about the industry. Volunteers will also compile a project report
and have the opportunity to make a presentation to Piedmont’s Park Commission.

Desired Qualifications

● Interest in waste/environmental work: Solid Waste is an important part of environmental
goals for cities, businesses, and countries. Volunteers will learn about solid waste at the
City level, and help to divert more of that waste to recycling and compost.

● Knowledge of Google Suite: Volunteers will use Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to keep
track of data and communicate with one another and their supervisor. This may include
putting solid waste data into a spreadsheet, putting together a presentation at the end of the
internship for stakeholders, and taking accurate and detailed notes on the platform.

● Communication: This position will need to communicate with other volunteers, a
supervisor with the City, and members of the public about solid waste. Experience in solid
waste is not required, but willingness to share information and answer questions is

Additional Information

The position is unpaid and will last six weeks during the months of July-August 2021. Volunteers
should be available 10-15 hours a week between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Hours are flexible, and final scheduling decisions will be made between volunteers and a City of Piedmont employee. Volunteers must be able to travel in-person to various parts of the City of Piedmont by walking, biking, public transit, or a personal vehicle. Volunteers will be reimbursed the IRS mileage rate for their vehicle use to make site visits, currently at $0.56/mile.

Interested volunteers can email a resume and a statement (up to 300 words) about what interests you about the position to Alyssa Dykman at Please put “Piedmont Evergreen Volunteer” in the subject line and combine your resume and interest statement in PDF form. Please submit your application materials by Friday, July 9.

The City of Piedmont is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and complies with ADA and FEHA.


The City of Piedmont provides outreach and education for waste reduction, recycling, and composting through its Piedmont Evergreen program. The program strives to increase recycling and composting throughout the City and reduce waste to the landfill. The City is making near-term progress in these areas. In the last several years, the City installed a new three-can series of receptacles (waste, organics, and recyclables) to improve garbage diversion in City parks.

Piedmont currently has a diversion rate of 75%, meaning that 75% of waste is composted or recycled, while 25% goes to the landfill. The City’s Climate Action Plan 2.0 outlines the City’s goal to divert 85% of waste going to the landfill by 2030. To reach this goal and encourage further diversion, the City purchased additional waste, organic, and recycling receptacles for use in public areas throughout Piedmont. These receptacles may help Piedmonters recycle and compost more.

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