Green Careers: Pioneering a Sustainable Future through Waste Management


In the quest for a sustainable future, green careers are emerging as a beacon of hope. These professions are not just jobs; they’re a commitment to environmental stewardship and a testament to the power of combining passion with purpose. Green jobs span various industries, but they all share a common goal: to reduce environmental impact and promote a healthier planet. 

To celebrate Earth Day, our WNN reporter delved into the world of green jobs in the waste management industry and interviewed three individuals who are making a difference in their communities and beyond.

August MacLean: Litter Programs Coordinator, Coastal Action (They/Them)

August bio

What is your educational background?

I have a Master’s in Coastal Communities & Regional Development and a Bachelor’s of Community Development with Environmental & Sustainability Studies.

You are on the forefront of litter management programs in Nova Scotia. What are your main responsibilities in this role?

I oversee the registration of new litter clean-up groups for the NS Adopt-A-Highway program and Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up program, facilitate communication between volunteers and public works, and promote our programs through various channels.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

I enjoy connecting with passionate community members at engagement events. Many of the individuals that I chat with at these events are looking to make a difference in their community in a way that feels tangible. By providing folks with the tools to clean up litter, they can see the impact of their hard work. Getting more people involved in programs like this not only keeps our communities clean, but it also unites communities around a common cause.

Bryan Maponga: Waste Resource Education Officer, Halifax Regional Municipality (He/Him)

Bryan Bio

What is your educational background?

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and Environmental Sustainability.

You have had an interesting career journey, moving from sales and business development to environmental stewardship. What drove you into municipal service?  

My ambition for community-based development drove me into municipal service delivery, and ultimately, climate change and environmental stewardship.

Tell us more about your role.

My role is to educate residents on the importance of waste management and the programs that our Solid Waste Department offers. By creating spaces for people to learn and access information, I bridge the gap between policy, service delivery, and waste management; a task I love and adore!

What do you love most about your job?

I love serving my community in an impactful way by providing access to resources and opportunities that foster non-traditional paths to employment

Sasha Barnard: Environmental Programs Analyst, Divert NS (She/Her)

Sasha Bio

What is your educational background?

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Sustainability & International Development and a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership.

You seem to wear many hats in your role within the waste management industry. What do you do at Divert NS?  

I collect and analyze data to identify waste diversion opportunities and research new ways to advance waste reduction in Nova Scotia. I also foster partnerships and collaboration between Divert NS and other likeminded organizations, such as 4-H and the Discovery Centre, and support Divert NS’ educational initiatives and programming.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

I love being able to develop meaningful resources that will assist in advancing waste reduction in Nova Scotia and help maintain our province’s reputation as a leader in waste management. Through my role, I have been able to see firsthand the impact of our programs in creating a healthier environment. Collaborating with people who share a passion for the environment is one of the best parts of my job!


These stories highlight the diverse opportunities within green careers and the passion that drives individuals in the sector. As we celebrate Earth Day, let’s recognize the vital role these professionals play in paving the way for a greener tomorrow and draw inspiration from them.