Public Works Director

Position: Public Works Director
Department: Public Works
Supervisor: Emmet County Administrator with operational guidance from the Department of Public Works Board
FLSA Classification: Exempt
Rate of Pay: Based on qualifications and experience

Position Summary:

The Public Works Director shall administer all necessary duties to ensure the efficient, effective and responsible management of the Emmet County; as well as other Counties Emmet County DPW is under contract with, materials recovery facility, solid waste transfer station, household hazardous waste program, recycling drop off sites, curbside recycling, compost programs, and other waste reduction and resource recovery programs.

Oversees and directs the collection, processing and marketing of recyclables, as well as the acceptance, transportation, and disposal of solid waste. Implements the goals outlined in Emmet County’s Solid Waste Management Plan. Evaluates for implementation, cost effective, environmentally sound courses of action regarding additional recycling, composting, and other resource recovery activities.

Essential Functions:

  • Accountable for the operations and maintenance of the DPW’s materials recovery facility, recycling drop-off sites, solid waste transfer station and household hazardous waste center, curbside recycling, the compost program, and managing personnel, equipment and materials and property necessary to ensure safe and efficient operations.
  • Prepares and administers the budget, conducts cost analyses and is responsible for overall fiscal review, including estimates of rates and fees for services. Authorizes budgetary transactions in compliance with Emmet County Purchasing & Procurement policies.
  • Directs the functions of the Recycling Program in relationship to the collection, processing, shipping and marketing of recyclable materials. Evaluates the potential for additional materials for recycling, including collection and processing requirements, market availability and demands. Oversees recyclable materials specifications, processing procedures, and shipping arrangements to ensure optimum marketability of each product. Negotiates and oversees contracts for recycling education/promotion in consultation with Civil Counsel and in compliance with County policy.
  • Directs the efficient operation of both commercial and residential curbside recycling collection including managing contracts, drivers, routes and equipment such as totes, carts and trucks.
  • Directs the efficient operation of the residential and commercial yard and food waste compost program including managing the compost site, equipment and the sale of the finished compost product.
  • Directs the functions of the transfer station in relation to handling and transferring solid waste materials to the appropriate landfill. Responsible for negotiating and overseeing contracts concerning transportation and disposal of waste from the transfer station.
  • Leads strategic planning for the ongoing expansion of the Recycling Program to accommodate increasing volumes and types of materials for recycling, including facility expansion, processing equipment, labor needs, and service availability.
  • Directs the coordination of all functions of the Household Hazardous Waste Program, including promotion, scheduling, training staff, resource exchange program, sorting and contracting for HHW disposal, and ensuring compliance with any grant provisions.
  • Implements and oversees the county’s Solid Waste Ordinance, including hauler licensing and enforcement. Recommends amendments to the ordinance and administrative rules when necessary.
  • Analyzes data related to solid waste, recycling, and household hazardous waste volumes to evaluate program efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Reports to the Emmet County Administrator and receives guidance from the Public Works Board on planning, budgetary, and operational aspects of program and prepare fiscal volume reports, analyses related to DPW operations and recommendations for their review.
  • Develops the capital budget including the procurement of equipment, completes bid preparation and analysis in compliance with the County Purchasing & Procurement policies.
  • Renews existing and develops new grant-funded programs, including operations, data collection, documentation, reporting requirements, and reimbursement requests. Maintains a working knowledge of State and Federal grants available to further the recycling and waste reduction efforts in Emmet County.
  • Works effectively with private groups, public agencies and various governmental units to implement recycling efforts. Contacts area businesses, industries, institutions and farms regarding options for recovering their reusable solid wastes for processing and recycling.
  • Directs the education of the public regarding current programs and concerns for the disposal of solid waste, recycling and resource recovery through but not limited to such venues as public meetings, coordinated event coverage and participation in radio and news interviews.
  • Ensures that Emmet County DPW is in compliance with all Solid Waste Act 641 provisions including coordinating and overseeing Solid Waste Management Plan Updates. Responsible for compliance with Federal EPA, State DNR, local and other applicable regulations relating to the operation of transfer stations, recycling facilities, underground wastewater tanks and household hazardous waste programs.

Desired Behavioral Traits
Approaches day-to-day, evolving, and challenging systems and projects with high energy and positive attitudes.  Gathers, analyzes, and uses information both from related industries and organizations and from internal operations.  Builds and maintains positive relationships with a variety of stakeholders and industry leaders. Employs excellent listening and communications skills. Collaborates with leaders in relevant fields throughout the state and nation to advance the interests of the county. Demonstrates resilience and persistence.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Has demonstrable experience in the principles of administrative management. Has the ability to develop policy and procedural materials and funding proposals. Able to analyze program data and program objectives and recommend policy and procedural changes.
  • Proficient in current recycling, household hazardous waste and solid waste management operations and regulations, at the local, state, and federal level.
  • Has advanced knowledge of recyclable materials markets and market specifications.
  • Proficient in governmental accounting, budgeting, financial management, and procurement.  Ability to perform fiscal analysis in order to make informed recommendations. Able to research materials, analyze data and prepare reports.
  • Able to develop bid specifications, negotiate contracts, administer grants and provide contract management.
  • Able to manage and develop professional and support staff, evaluate staff performance, and assist in staff training. Knowledge of labor relations and personnel practices. Knowledge of the principles and methods concerned with problem solving and dispute resolution.
  • Has demonstrated the ability to organize, direct and monitor services and coordinate activities with other agencies, businesses, organizations, industries and the public. Knowledge of programs and services provided by governmental agencies and the private sector.
  • Able to effectively, efficiently and accurately interpret and communicate administrative and professional policies and procedures to staff, other professionals, governmental agencies or officials, advisory committees, organizations and the public.
  • Has demonstrated proficiency in interpersonal skills necessary to develop and maintain effective and appropriate working relationships with customers, co-workers, and representatives of other agencies. 

Education and Experience

A minimum of a B.S. or B.A. degree in business management, a planning or resource field or sufficiently related coursework compatible with recycling and solid waste management administration. Minimum of five years with a preference for seven years of directly related, progressively responsible experience in the field of recycling, solid waste and composting operations, as well as personnel and management experience with increasing responsibility, and at least two years of that in supervisory or managerial experience. Mechanical knowledge desirable.

Physical Demands

Must be able to perform administrative work in both sitting and standing environments, and the ability to lift up to 25 lbs. This position also requires the ability to work for extensive periods of time in outdoor environments in all weather conditions, both at the facility and at other work-related events, including at Household Chemical Drop off Days.

Environmental Factors

While much of the work is performed in an office environment, the transfer station, recycling and composting facilities and drop off sites include a number of indoor and outdoor environmental factors.  It may be cold, hot, dusty, dirty, noisy, and smelly.


Emmet County, Michigan
200 Division Street, Petoskey MI 49770
(231) 348-1702 | Contact Us