Associate Garbologist

This position description is intended to describe the general nature and level of work being
performed by people in this category. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all
responsibilities, duties and skills required of people in these positions.

Work Team:
Position Classification:
Length of Service:
2+ Weeks


Works with Garbologist to manage and facilitating the processing, recycling, reuse of and removal of solid waste from the village, including compost, recycling and landfill. Assists Garbologist with rotating teams of Village community members in collecting and sorting waste.


(principal duties and responsibilities; such as categories supported, staff size, volume managed, etc)

Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Assists Garbologist with rotating teams of Village staff and other volunteers in collecting and sorting landfill, compost and recycling, delegating tasks as required.
  • Encourages the community to reduce, reuse and recycle.
  • Operates vehicles to assist in the transporting of village waste.
  • Maintains the village compost system to provide finished compost to the lawns and gardens crew.
  • Educates the community about food waste, recycling, and solid waste issues.
  • Seeks all appropriate safety training for your area and model careful and safe work habits.
  • Be available for special projects and reassignment as requested by the Operations Manager.
  • Keep records of waste processed by the Village.


(position specifications; such as knowledge/education, skills, problem solving/decision making, risk/bottom line results, management responsibility – people and functions)

Specific knowledge and skills include but are not limited to the following:

  • Existing leadership and supervisory skills, or a willingness to develop these skills on the job.
  • Physically fit – able to lift 50+ lbs.
  • Ability and willingness to safely operate and troubleshoot heavy equipment.
  • Valid driver’s license and good driving record.
  • A passion for reduce, reuse, recycling.
  • An understanding of ecological issues related to disposal and management of community garbage.
  • Willingness to sort garbage, manage Holden’s composting system, and potentially handle hungry wildlife.  
  • Ability to work independently and to effectively supervise other staff.
  • Possess a commitment to high quality and effective work.
  • Resourceful and innovative, able to make the best of the resources available.
  • A willingness to learn and develop additional operational skills and knowledge as required.
  • Knowing when to ask for help, suggestions, resources, or ideas.
  • Ability to take initiative, problem-solve and work independently and collaboratively.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Excel and ability to record waste volume data and create visual graphs.


(particular knowledge/skills related to client and/or agency needs)

  • Has enthusiasm for, and ability to work in, a remote wilderness setting.
  • Commits to work in ways that support and fulfill Holden Village’s Mission, Vision, and Values and commits to the terms of the Community of Practice Agreement.
  • Extends genuine hospitality to all Villagers and guests; Helps new staff and volunteers integrate into the community.
  • Upholds and works to further Holden Village values of diversity, equality, respect, sustainability, and spirituality as articulated in the Strategic Plan. .
  • Undertakes Work of the Village including dish team, garbology, and wood chaining.
  • Abides by Holden Village’s Community Health Protocols and Practices.
  • Commits to staying up-do date on all required vaccinations, including COVID-19.


As a Short-Term Volunteer, you are eligible for the following benefits:

  • Food (three meals/day)
  • Housing, utilities, internet access
  • Free parking at Fields Point
  • Access to amazing hiking opportunities, community events, teaching sessions, art studios and other educational opportunities!


Holden Village is a community where your questions are valued and encouraged. Most programs led by visiting teaching faculty occur during the summer months. However, Holden also invites faculty to teach sessions for special events and retreats throughout the rest of the year.
Check out a list of the 2024 Summer Faculty.