Waste Collector

Collect, sort, recycle or dispose of your area's refuse.
picture of Waste Collector

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$19,000 – $54,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Waste Collectors do?

In today’s world, “waste” constitutes so much more than garbage. Everything that goes into a modern house needs to come out somehow, and as a modern Waste Collector, you’re in charge of it all. You can lift waste barrels, drive a big truck, or work the crusher at a processing plant — there are a lot of fresh options when working in waste management.

Nearly every municipality in the country recycles, and more and more are beginning to collect compostable waste and yard clippings into centralized locations as well, where they can find new uses for them. Many also offer annual “spring cleaning” days when larger items such as furniture and heavy appliances can be disposed of. Waste Collectors sort through all these things, and make sure each gets to the right type of processing plant so that reusable materials can find new life, and the environmental impact of dangerous materials (batteries, paint, used motor oil) can be minimized.

Effective Waste Collectors may get dirty every day, but they help make our world a cleaner place. If you like being outside, and don’t mind rolling up your sleeves and handling other people’s trash, recyclables, and discarded belongings, then you might make a good Waste Collector. It’s physically demanding work, and it takes place outside almost all the time, so if you’re the kind of person who couldn’t imagine being stuck inside at a desk, then this could be the job for you.

Should I be a Waste Collector?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Rubbish Collector, Scrap Metal Collector, Solid Waste Collector, Trash Collector, Wasteman

    How to become a Waste Collector

    Most Waste 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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