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Alumni Advice: Rachel Setzke ’00

Rachel Setzke ’00 discusses working at a Zero-Waste non-profit organization.

Job: Senior Research and Policy Associate, Eco-Cycle

Major: Geology

Typical job responsibilities: Researching trends and best practices in Zero Waste activities such as composting, recycling, and relevant laws and policies. Making policy recommendations based on models in other states and within Colorado. Creating support materials to advocate for and to educate about policies and Zero Waste programs.

Typical challenges of the work: Understanding the nuances of how different policies and programs function within their political and social environments. Also, the waste/recycling/compost industry lacks standardization on a lot of issues, so comparisons among programs in different areas or year-over-year can be challenging. Particularly challenging in Colorado is that we have a low recycling rate with a lot of obstacles to overcome to improve it (luckily, there is growing momentum in that direction).

Education level: A lot of the people who work at our organization started as interns or volunteers in the field and advanced. Many folks have undergraduate or graduate degrees.

Advice for current Beloit College students: Think about something that you are passionate about - where you would like to make a difference - and see what kinds of opportunities there are in that field. Volunteering is a great way to make connections.

March 31, 2021

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