REFUSE COLLECTORS gather trash and garbage from homes and businesses along a regularly scheduled route. They also pick up recyclables such as paper, glass, plastic, steel, and aluminum, usually on a different day. Refuse collectors deposit the trash, garbage, or recyclables from trash cans, dumpsters, or other receptacles into their truck for transport to a dump, landfill, or recycling center. Refuse collectors put the cans, dumpsters, or other receptacles back on the sidewalk or other designated areas. Refuse collectors lift and empty garbage cans or recycling bins by hand, or operate a hydraulic lift truck that picks up and empties dumpsters automatically.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $41,000 average per year ($19.75 per hour)
- A medium occupation (126,400 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.8% per year)
When hiring REFUSE COLLECTORS, employers look for hard working people and people they can rely upon. They hire people with no experience or training. Refuse collectors should be able to read, write, and speak well enough to complete the necessary paperwork and communicate with customers. Some employers prefer to hire those with a high school diploma. Knowledge of the safe handling of hazardous materials is an asset for those looking for jobs. No special licensing or certification is required for refuse collectors. However, truck drivers must have a commercial driver's license.