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Recycling Operations Manager

The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup

Rotterdam, Netherlands
Posted on Thursday, March 9, 2023


The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop technology to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Once the plastic has been extracted from the ocean, we aim to process it in accordance with our waste management policy.

Based on extensive research and from what our cleanup technologies have caught so far, we know that our ocean plastic waste mainly consists of polyolefins in the form of ghost nets, ropes, and hard plastic. Recycling this waste is challenging because most technologies and infrastructure are not developed for managing ocean plastic waste - but although difficult, it can be done.

The Catch Management team is responsible for what happens to the waste after it has been extracted from the ocean. The goal is to repurpose the plastic into new products, hereby creating a means of funding the mission and giving supporters the opportunity to join our mission.

“The Ocean Cleanup is scaling up its Oceans operations, meaning more plastic catch will come in that needs processing. We are looking to expand the team with a Recycling Operations Manager, who will oversee and monitor the recycling operations with our existing recycling partners, to ensure we reach the best possible outcomes in line with our guidelines and under Chain of Custody.” - John Verhoeven, Recycling Manager


  • Implement the plans as defined by the Recycling Manager’s strategy, working with our existing recycling partners;
    • Ensure that the processing of The Ocean Cleanup plastic happens according to our requirements and guidelines;
    • Ensure smooth implementation of the Chain of Custody way of working and ensure that the data is captured and ready for auditing;
    • Work with the Materials Engineer to ensure that the output quality of the recycling process is up to our standards and requirements;
  • Execute field visits to assess local recycling facilities inside and outside of Europe;
  • Support the Recycling Manager to keep updated on the latest advancements in the recycling industry.


  • Minimum of 3 years of working experience in waste recycling;
  • General understanding of the international waste management landscape, including the availability of recycling technologies, regulations, trends, and players;
  • Relevant experience in project management, including creating/managing planning;
  • Relevant experience in working with external partners in an international context;
  • A degree (BSc/MSc) in a relevant field (environmental sciences, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, or civil engineering).


  • You are a self-starter with an analytical and data-driven approach to problem-solving;
  • You are always ready to improvise, pragmatic, and bring plans on track when they face adversities;
  • You have excellent communication and social skills, including a strong cultural awareness and ability to communicate on all levels;
  • You are curious and willing to travel (including abroad) for site visits regularly. A category B driving license is required;
  • You have a strong command of the English language, verbal and written;
  • You can write clear and to-the-point reporting;
  • You are accurate and have an eye for detail;
  • And above all: an intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful mission.

Please note: because we are a non-profit, our salaries reflect that of an organization fully reliant on donations rather than that of a commercial entity. Conducting a pre-employment check is part of our recruitment process.

Curious to hear how it is to work at The Ocean Cleanup? Listen to our team members explain their work in our podcast.

Starting from:
Work permit needed:
European Union

A valid European Union work permit is highly preferred for this position. However, feel free to send an open application so we can contact you if an opportunity arises in your country.