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City of Tacoma WA Environmental Systems Technician in Tacoma, Washington

Environmental Systems Technician


$34.46 - $41.89 Hourly


Tacoma, WA

Job Type


Job Number



Environmental Services

Opening Date


Closing Date

6/10/2024 5:00 PM Pacific

  • Description

  • Benefits

  • Questions

Position Description

Working for the City of Tacoma is more than a job – it is an opportunity each and every day to make a difference and leave our community better than we found it.

In the Environmental Services Department, everything we do creates a better Tacoma by promoting healthy neighborhoods and a thriving Puget Sound. It is why we exist and we are committed to partnering with all of our community members, fostering a great employee culture, and continuing to improve our award-winning operations with a clear focus on safety. We are looking for employees who embrace and live by our shared core values and commit to our shared purpose of making a difference in our community.

The position of Environmental Systems Technician is an important role in fulfilling this purpose through the performance of technical environmental monitoring, maintenance, and operation tasks at the Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center. Environmental Systems Technicians perform relatively sophisticated tasks generally involving materials that may be considered hazardous due to their chemical nature, such as the collection and disposal of household hazardous waste materials and landfill gas collection systems. Duties are conducted in a public service work environment.

Common duties of the position include:

  • Identifying, segregating, processing and packing hazardous waste for transportation to disposal/treatment facilities

  • Used motor oil collection

  • Operation of tools/machinery/equipment

  • Forklift operations

  • Inspect, maintain, calibrate, construction of landfill gas and flare station equipment

  • Accurate record-keeping of operational performance records, daily status reports, log readings related to environmental projects, systems, and hazardous waste operations

This is an exciting opportunity for environmental professionals with initiative and excellent customer service skills to help us promote a healthy, clean environment in our City.

Our ideal candidate will possess the following competencies:

  • Communicates effectively: delivers communication orally and in writing that conveys a clear understanding of the unique needs of different audiences.

  • Collaborates: builds partnerships and works cooperatively with others to meet shared goals.

  • Instills Trust: gains the confidence and trust of others through honesty, integrity, and authenticity.

  • Decision Quality: makes good and timely decisions.

  • Situational Adaptability: adapts approach and demeanor in real time to match the shifting demands of different situations.

  • Manages Conflict: handles conflict situations effectively.

  • Being Resilient: handles difficult situations well and rebounds from setbacks and adversity.

  • Work Independently: ability to perform work independently and with initiative.

  • Safety: Supports safety as a core value in all work performed by the organization.

This recruitment will be for the purpose of establishing a Civil Service Eligible List that will be used to fill vacancies as they occur, for the period of one year. Candidates are not required to have experience with both hazardous waste programs and landfill gas collection systems; candidates with experience in either one of these areas are encouraged to apply.

Essential Duties

  • Handle sort and package household hazardous materials for transportation to disposal/treatment facilities.

  • Perform basic qualitative testing on unknown chemical wastes.

  • Keep accurate operational performance records; daily status reports; log readings related to environmental projects, systems, and hazardous waste operations.

  • Inspect and provide technical assistance to businesses on hazardous waste practices and waste reduction techniques.

  • Monitor and maintain oil collection facilities.

  • Monitor commercial and residential loads being off-loaded at the Recovery and Transfer Center.

  • Perform routine inspection, maintenance, and construction of landfill gas and gas to energy systems and flare station equipment.

  • Perform daily calibration, routine maintenance, and repair of landfill gas

  • monitoring instrumentation.

  • Monitor and record field readings of the landfill gas migration probes, inspect and troubleshoot the landfill gas collection piping system.

  • Participate in an offsite gas monitoring program, as directed.

  • Coordinate the work performed by outside contractors.

  • Assist with the inspections, operation and maintenance of the groundwater extraction/treatment system.

  • Assist with the collection of environmental samples.

  • Operation of a leachate and condensate treatment system.

  • Identify and process appliances that contain refrigerants for proper disposal or recycling.

  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Physical Requirements & Working Conditions

  • Position requires standing for extended periods of time. Employees working in this classification must be in good physical condition and be able to lift heavy objects.

  • Municipal solid waste facility; subject to dust, noise; other conditions typical to a solid waste handling facility; and exposure to high temperature equipment.

  • Employees working in this classification will be required to respond during off-hours to plant shutdowns or other problems.

  • Employees may be exposed to hazardous materials while working and must be able to wear appropriate Personal Protection Equipment.

City of Tacoma Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Tacoma's diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma's entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress. One of our goals is for the City of Tacoma workforce to reflect the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play.


Graduation from high school or equivalent AND:

A minimum of six (6) months of experience in the operation of a landfill gas system or hazardous waste collection and processing program


An Associate's degree


Two (2) year technical certification in hazardous materials, environmental science or environmental sciences and technology.


All candidates must have the following at the time of application:

  • Valid Washington State driver's license or evidence of equivalent mobility at time of application with maintenance thereafter.

If hired, all Environmental Systems Technicians must obtain the following prior to completion of probation and maintain them thereafter: (training provided by the City of Tacoma)

  • 40-hour Hazwoper certificate.

  • Valid First Aid/AED card

  • NIMS IS-00100 and 00700 certification from FEMA

Please note:

Environmental Systems Technicians assigned to the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility must obtain the following prior to completion of probation and maintain them thereafter in addition to the licenses, certificates and other requirements listed above: (training provided by the City of Tacoma)

  • Type 1 EPA certification for refrigerant recovery

  • Respiratory protection certificate

  • Flagging certification

  • Certification to operate bobcat, forklift and manlift

  • DOT Hazmat transportation training

  • Blood-borne pathogen training

  • Hazardous communication training

  • Explosive and reactive awareness training

Environmental Systems Technicians assigned to the Landfill Gas Collection System will be asked to be on-call to respond to problems with the environmental systems outside of working hours; standby procedures and assignments are shared and rotated with other qualified individuals in the work unit.

Knowledge & Skills

  • Perform and interpret qualitative testing on unknown hazardous materials.

  • Toxicity and chemical properties of hazardous materials.

  • Safety rules and procedures relating to landfill gas and hazardous wastes.

  • Department of Transportation shipping and packaging requirements for hazardous wastes.

  • Hazardous waste reduction techniques.

  • Use respiratory and chemical protective equipment with no restrictions.

  • Keep complete, legible, and accurate records and logs.

  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with others.

  • Relate well with the public.

  • Work independently.

  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

  • Record keeping procedures including some data entry on computers.

  • Participate in a medical monitoring program.

  • Perform heavy manual labor.

  • Operate motor vehicles as assigned.

  • Characteristics and proper removal of refrigerants.

  • Characteristics of landfill gas.

  • Operational procedures for landfill gas systems.

  • Operating principles of various types of landfill gas monitoring instrumentation.

  • Installation and maintenance of landfill gas and environmental system components.

  • Operate small hand and power tools; monitoring and refrigerant recovery equipment.

  • Mechanical and electrical equipment.

  • Ability to install and maintain landfill gas and environmental system components.

Selection Process & Supplemental Information

To be considered for this challenging and rewarding career opportunity:

Please apply online through the City of Tacoma's website. Individuals must meet the minimum qualifications to progress in the examination process.

Candidates who are eligible for Veteran's Preference scoring criteria must attach a copy of their DD-214 member copy 4, (proof of military discharge form) at time of application, to be eligible for review for Veteran's Preference points, with redacted birth date and social security numbers.

Examination Process:

This is a competitive selection process. Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will have their job application and responses to Supplemental Questions # 7-10 reviewed and scored by a committee of subject matter experts, as the Experience and Training Test. It is the responsibility of the applicants to adequately describe all pertinent experience and training. Candidates who pass the test will be placed on an Eligible List for potential interview and hiring consideration.

Per City of Tacoma Personnel Management Policy #170, the City of Tacoma is a drug-free work environment. Appointment is subject to successful completion of a pre-employment background check and will include a pre-employment medical examination, physical ability test and drug and alcohol screening. Candidates will be required to possess a valid Washington State driver's license at the time of appointment with maintenance thereafter.

This position is covered by a Labor Agreement between the City of Tacoma and Local Union 483 IBEW. New employees must successfully complete a nine-month probationary period prior to obtaining permanent status in this classification.

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every one of the qualifications listed. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may be one from a less traditional background. If you have transferable experience, please tell us about it!


The City of Tacoma offers a generous program of employee benefits:

  • Outstanding working conditions and an exceptional quality-of-life environment.

  • Medical coverage for eligible employees, spouses and dependents, including children up to age 26.

  • Vision care with VSP for employees and eligible dependents enrolled in the Regence PPO medical plan with vision benefits.

  • Dental coverage for eligible employees and their elected dependents, including dependent children up to the age of 26.

  • Deferred compensation allowing tax-deferred savings as authorized under Section 457 of the IRS Code.

  • Personal time off.

  • Paid holidays.

  • A great pension plan.

Our City:

When you work for the City of Tacoma, you'll have an opportunity to enjoy a healthy work/life balance, the potential for flexible schedules (with some job classifications), continuing education programs, leadership pathways, wellness incentives and a total rewards benefits program. We welcome you to take a look at our website and discover how the City of Tacoma can make your next career move part of our combined destiny:

The City of Tacoma believes that each employee makes a significant contribution to our success. This job description is designed to outline primary duties, qualifications and job scope. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position.

Communication from the City of Tacoma:

We primarily communicate via e-mail during the application process. E-mails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk e-mail folders.

The online application system requires you to enter a substantial amount of information. Be prepared to spend an hour or more entering the required information. In order for your application materials to be considered, all information must be submitted by the closing date and time listed on this job announcement.

If you have any additional questions regarding this position, please contact the Human Resources Department at 253.591.5400, before 4:00 pm of the closing date.

The City of Tacoma provides excellent medical, dental and vision plans for the whole family; paid holidays and paid leave; participation in the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System (alternate plan for Police/Fire); continuing education and advancement opportunities and a growing variety of City-sponsored health and wellness opportunities and incentives.

Medical Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Dental Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Vision Coverage: For eligible employees and their eligible dependents.

Paid Leave: City employees are entitled to received paid holidays, sick/vacation leave or personal time off (PTO), depending upon union affiliation and appointment type.

Insurance Plans: Employees are covered by a long-term disability plan. Short-term and expanded long-term disability insurance plans are also available to employees. The State Industrial Insurance Act also covers employees.

Deferred Compensation: Income can be set aside on a pretax basis and invested for supplementation of normal retirement income.

Retirement: All employees of the City, except members of the Police and Fire services, Tacoma Rail and certain project employees, are included in the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System. Information on the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System can be found at or by calling (253) 502-8200.

Other Employment Information

Direct Deposit: Employees are paid on a bi-weekly schedule by direct deposit.

Salary Increases: Based on satisfactory job performance, the City provides for a regular progression of salary increases for most classifications according to the salary schedule.

Union Affiliation: Many job classifications are covered by union security provisions which require union membership, dues, or payment of equivalent service fees.

Note: The provisions of this job announcement do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained herein may be modified and/or revoked without notice.


The Supplemental Questionnaire is part of the examination process; accordingly, it should be completed carefully. It must be submitted with your application. Responses to supplemental questions must be original content created by the applicant using their own words. The use of online tools or resources to create responses, such as Artificial Intelligence (ChatGPT, etc), Google, Bing, etc., or plagiarism in any form, is considered cheating and falsification of the application. Do not indicate "see resume" or copy unrelated content from your resume when answering these questions. Answer all information requested in each question. Failure to do so may result in rejection of your application. I certify that the information provided is accurate and complete to the best of my knowledge. I understand that any falsification may cancel any terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

  • Yes

  • No


    Are you a high school graduate or the equivalent?

  • Yes

  • No


    Do you have at least six (6) months' full-time experience in the operation of a landfill gas system or hazardous waste collection and processing program?

  • Yes

  • No


    Do you have an Associate's degree or higher OR a two (2) year technical certification related to hazardous materials, environmental science or environmental sciences and technology?

  • Yes

  • No


    Candidates selected to move forward in the hiring process must take and pass a physical assessment test. This test may include: aerobic assessment on a stationary bicycle for 6 minutes; flexibility assessment of the lower back and hamstrings, upper back, lateral spine, hips and shoulders; strength assessment may include a bench press, squat, pull-down and arm-curl. Please acknowledge that you are aware of the physical requirements of the job by checking Yes below.

  • Yes

  • No



    Questions #7-10 are the experience and training test that will be used to establish the eligibility list. These questions will be scored by subject matter experts who will not have access to any of your application materials, and will provide scores based solely upon your answers to the questions. Your answers must stand on their own merit. DO NOT RESPOND WITH "SEE RESUME" in lieu of answering this question, as raters will not have access to your resume or application and this will result in a score of 0 points and you will fail the test. Your score on the experience and training test will ONLY reflect your response to the questions asked.

Please indicate "Yes" that you have read and understand the instructions for questions #7-10.

  • Yes

  • No


    What experience do you have in relating with people whose ethnic/racial, gender, or cultural backgrounds are different than your own? What were the settings and what was your role?


    Describe your experience, education or knowledge related to either/both of the following:

  • Identifying, segregating, processing and packing hazardous waste for transportation to disposal/treatment facilities. Include the employer(s) and date(s) where you gained the experience.

  • Landfill gas collection systems, condensate collection systems, and groundwater extraction and treatment systems. Include the employer(s) and date(s) where you gained the experience. If you have no relevant experience please respond with "N/A". *It is not necessary to be knowledgeable and/or experienced in both areas.


    Do you have experience working in customer service or interacting with the public? If Yes, please describe your experience and include dates and employers.


    Please check the boxes for areas where you have experience. (Please check all that apply) *It is not necessary to be knowledgeable and/or experienced in all areas.

  • Toxicity and chemical properties of hazardous materials

  • Identifies, labels, and stores residential hazardous waste

  • Experience interpreting and applying regulations, policies, and permit requirements

  • Oil collections facility experience

  • Forklift operations

  • Tools/Machinery/Equipment

  • Interacting with the public

  • Solid Waste Facilities experience

  • Recycling facilities experience

  • Experience working outside

  • Extended periods of standing and walking (work related)

  • Traffic Control and Safety

  • Experience participating in safety related training

  • Inspect, maintain, calibrate, construction of landfill gas and flare station equipment

  • Operation of leachate and condensate treatment systems

  • Accurate record-keeping of operational performance records; daily status reports, log readings related to environmental projects, systems, and hazardous waste operations

  • None of the above


    Please tell us how you learned about this job opening

  • Job Interest Card notification

  • Professional organization

  • Union job posting

  • City of Tacoma employee

  • Military organization

  • Online job board posting

  • Tacoma community organization

  • Word of mouth

  • General internet job search

  • Other


    Please provide specific information regarding how you learned about this job opening. Thank you, your feedback will be used to evaluate our success reaching the public and refine our methods for future job postings.


    If you are a military veteran, did you remember to upload a copy of your DDForm 214, Member 4 copy, for review for Veteran's Preference eligibility?

  • Yes

  • No

    Required Question


City of Tacoma


Human Resources Department 747 Market Street Tacoma, Washington, 98402-3764





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