Garbage Collector

Keep your city clean by transporting trash from street-side to dump.
picture of Garbage Collector

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$19,000 – $54,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Garbage Collectors do?

Imagine a world without Garbage Collectors. Piles of wine bottles, soiled diapers, credit card offers, carrot peelings, coffee grounds, cellophane candy wrappers, and other garbage would grow and grow until residents drown in their own refuse. While collecting garbage isn’t glamorous, it’s an incredibly important job. A Garbage Collector picks up garbage and hauls it away long before catastrophic piles form.

When you’re a Garbage Collector, you start each workday by inspecting your truck, checking the fuel level, the oil level, and the steering. You also move the hydraulic lift up and down. If you spot a problem, you report it to the municipal services Supervisor right away so it can be fixed quickly.

Then, you set out on your route. At each stop, you grab the garbage can and attach it to your truck. Next, you press a button to activate the lift, and you watch the garbage can being lifted into the air and emptied into your truck. Then you push another button to lower the can, and yet another button to compress the garbage into a smaller pile.

Sometimes, you run a recycling truck, and you dump paper, plastics, and glass into separate slots. These trucks are often smaller than standard garbage trucks, and you empty the receptacles by hand instead of using a lift.

At the end of the day, you drive your truck to the drop-off point to unload your haul. Sometimes, the sanitation worker who runs the dump or recycling center points out the specific area you should use for unloading. When your truck is empty, you clean it thoroughly.


Should I be a Garbage Collector?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Garbage Man, Garbage or Trash Collection Sanitation Engineer, Garbage Person, Garbage Pick Up Man See More

    How to become a Garbage Collector

    Most Garbage Collectors have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9faaaa&chl=no+college+%2892%25%29|certificate+%288%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,92,92
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