Solid Waste Services Specialist

CITY OF YAKIMA   Yakima, WA   Full-time     Construction / Physical Labor / Skilled Trades
Posted on September 3, 2022
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Overview and Minimum Class Requirements

The Solid Waste & Recycling Division has two unique opportunities for customer-focused self-starters! These positions provide critical office support to a great team of dedicated drivers and solid waste professionals!  If you thrive working in a fast-paced technical environment, enjoy providing exceptional customer service, and want to be an important part of our Clean City Initiative apply today!

The City of Yakima is a premier employer in the Yakima Valley with extensive opportunities for training and growth. The City offers a competitive benefits package including:

  • Comprehensive medical, dental and vision coverage
  • FREE healthcare clinic!
  • Generous accruals for vacation and sick leave
  • Up to 5% bilingual/biliterate English/Spanish special pay
  • WA State PERS pension plan
  • Employer contribution to a 457 deferred compensation plan
  • Much more!
There are free keyboarding/typing skill tests available on-line. The following site allows you to enter your name, take the test, then print the certificate with your test results


High school diploma or GED and two (2) years general office experience with increasing responsibilities including one (1) year in a service or transportation industry utilizing routing and complex billing/accounting software and reporting tools.  Previous experience in solid waste and/or recycling is preferred.  Must be proficient at Microsoft Excel and Word.  Must be able to accurately type a minimum of 35 words per minute.  


Must possess and maintain a valid Washington State Driver's License. Obtain and maintain a valid First Aid/CPR Certificate within six (6) months of appointment.

Job Summary

Under general supervision, performs complex customer service and technical duties in the operation and maintenance of solid waste and recycling collection, billing, and account management systems. Ensures that transactions, service orders, route books, and landfill receipts and tonnages are accurate, consistent, and conform to procedures. Provides guidance and instruction to other staff on daily system operations. Coordinates workflow internally and with outside entities to build positive and effective working relationships. Uses customized routing and mobile management app to address service order issues with customers, drivers and maintenance workers.   Generates, analyzes, evaluates and proposes new or updated Solid Waste and Recycling services policies, procedures and operating practices as they relate to field and office issues, customer service, billing, and account management. Aids with operation of automated rout tracking devises.  Makes recommendations for improvement. 

Essential Functions

Responds to inquiries by telephone, computer or in person related to the operations of the Solid Waste and Recycling Division. Handles difficult, complex or irregular customer service and billing issues related to the daily functions of the Solid Waste and Recycling Division. In coordination with the Division Manager and/or Supervisor, helps to ensure all administrative, office and field staff are properly instructed and are performing all tasks accurately and efficiently.  Gathers, analyzes and reports statistical data.  Prepares a variety of daily, monthly and annual reports, logs and other records.   Works closely with other divisions and outside agencies to coordinate efficiency of division activities. Adheres to the highest standards of customer service and professionalism. Responds to public inquires and complaints about the billing process and takes appropriate action.

Uses phone, radio, electronic routing tools and mobile maintenance applications in coordination with employees and drivers to optimize customer service, (e.g. removals, exchanges, missed carts, special hauls). 

Coordinates and/or schedules accurate and timely billing functions and processes.  Provides procedural expertise with Utility Services Division to resolve problems; provides information to customers, vendors and employees as needed; trains other employees on procedures; evaluates system or billing errors, and takes corrective measures; contacts outside vendors/technical staff to initiate corrective measures; provides system user support. Performs system audits and reviews to verify accuracy of information and automated billing system operations.

Follows established procedures and guidelines and as appropriately approved, authorizes adjustments and credits to customer’s accounts. Keeps division files and records in accordance with the City’s retention guidelines. Assists with difficult customers to address customer service related issues. Operates and aids in the use of City software systems including accounting, mapping and timekeeping.

Researches issues and makes recommendations to improve the division’s efficiencies, effectiveness and/or overall customer service. Recommends changes and/or enhancements of the computer systems, electronic devices, division operating practices and procedures to the Division Manager or Supervisor.  Works to ensure excellent service is provided to internal and external customers, vendors and other affected parties.  May assist with City/community projects including, but not limited to clean-up events/activities.  

Explains Solid Waste and Recycling procedures and cart placement/requirements to customers. Accurately establishes and enters into the system new and/or revised information on accounts, assuring compliance with legal requirements. Initiates, revises, completes, and/or closes service orders.  Assists with delinquency management, and removes, replaces, and/or edits accounts as necessary.

Contributes to and fosters an attitude among staff that encourages cooperation and coordination of efforts, productive time management, and efficient use of resources. Provides continuous effort to improve operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline work processes, and work cooperatively and jointly to provide exceptional customer service to internal and external customers.

Requires punctual, regular and reliable attendance.

Performs other related duties as assigned.

Major Worker Characteristics

Knowledge of City of Yakima ordinances, state laws and various rules and regulations related to municipal solid waste and recycling services; and City’s procedures, policies, applicable laws and codes.  Must possess strong working knowledge of City’s billing software programs including but not limited to operating practices affecting the maintenance and operations of automated billing systems. Knowledge of basic accounting principles, practices and procedures; effective practices and principles of work flow and systems analysis; municipal records retention procedures, and techniques; research techniques; data compilation; modern clerical and administrative support practices; office principles, practices, and techniques; database and file management systems. Demonstrates knowledge and sound judgement with regard to public disclosure, and confidentiality standards.

Knowledge of techniques and strategies for dissemination of written and verbal information to a wide range of individuals, including but not limited to managers, staff, government officials, and members of the public. 

Strong working knowledge of: computer spreadsheets; databases; industry applications; Microsoft Office Suite; and Outlook. 

Must be able to communicate clearly and effectively, with employees, members of the public representing diverse education and background, and with officials at all levels of government utilizing well-developed communication skills, both written and oral, with appropriate use of business English, including but not limited to correct grammar, vocabulary, letter composition, editing, spelling, and punctuation. Must be able to respond in a diplomatic and confident manner to upset individuals.

Ability to routinely and regularly maintain confidentiality and discretion through all forms of communication.

Ability to efficiently and effectively enter moderately complex data/information into a computer system with speed and accuracy. Ability to troubleshoot system issues; document business and software operating procedures; and assist other software users as needed. 

Ability to answer inquiries by telephone, computer or in person; operate standard office equipment including a personal computer, telephone, copy machine and standard office programs (Microsoft Office Suite; database software with reporting tools and spreadsheets, etc.).   Ability to effectively utilize City’s billing, routing and GIS software programs; conduct account audits and take corrective action as necessary; evaluate problems with billing software and implement corrective measures; perform research and analysis of system data and make recommendations for improvements or revisions. Must be able to independently plan, organize, and schedule job tasks; make appropriate decisions within legal guidelines under limited supervision; read interpret, apply and explain practical procedures and/or governmental regulations; and perform moderately complex mathematical calculations. 

Ability to read, research, interpret, apply and explain codes, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures.  Must possess ability to identify and define problems, establish facts and draw valid conclusions. 

Ability to work with self-direction and limited direction or oversight; maintain sustained attention to detail, formulate goals, and work under timeline pressures. Excellent analytical and organizational skills are essential. Must possess ability to quickly adapt to changing priorities and demands. Ability to positively receive feedback and take direction is essential.

Ability to assist customers in a courteous and tactful manner; resolve customer complaints or concerns in a manner consistent with City of Yakima values and service standards; defuse situations that involve angry or hostile customers, or interpersonal conflict, and guide toward positive resolution; work cooperatively as a member of a team and adhere to the department’s values including, but not limited to accountability, customer focused, teamwork, professionalism and communication. Must possess capability to   set and manage priorities, with competing timelines, for work in a public environment with frequent interruptions while providing excellent customer service to internal and external customers; establish and maintain effective working relationships with other City employees, outside agencies, vendors, public officials and with persons representing widely diverse opinions, beliefs, ethnic, economic and social backgrounds;; organize work for maximum efficiency; maintain sustained attention to detail and work under the pressure of strict timelines; coordinate activities of other work groups to provide a comprehensive service; work in a punctual, regular and reliable manner.

Ability to accurately type 35 wpm. 


Work is performed primarily in an office environment while sitting at a desk or computer terminal for periods of time or while standing for a period of time. Continuous use of both hands in reaching, handling, grasping, and/or keyboarding and other fine motor skills manipulation while performing duties and operating computers.  Occasional lifting and carrying up to 25 pounds; occasionally ascends/descends stairs, ladders and other inclines while maintaining stability. Occasional bending, twisting at knees, waist, or neck and occasional stooping, bending, kneeling, and/or crawling while performing duties.  Continuous use of all senses and speech while performing duties and communicating with co-workers, general public and completing all tasks as assigned. Must be able to distinguish color and maintain long-term and short-term memory to learn and remember simple to complex procedures. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. May occasionally accompany the Solid Waste Collector/Driver in all weather conditions and be exposed to many outdoor hazards including, but not limited, to traffic. 


Has frequent contact with the public who may be angry, upset, and/or emotionally unstable. May be required to work beyond the normal work schedule to complete projects. Occasional weekends, evenings, or holidays may be required.