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Garbage Collector


How to Become a Garbage Collector
Garbage Collector Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of a Garbage Collector
Garbage Collector Salaries
Influential Professionals in this field
Leading Garbage Collector Organizations
Top Cities for Garbage Collector Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Garbage Collector

Most employers require at least a high school diploma. Applicants must be able to keep up with the physical demandsof the job and, of course, ,b>pass drug tests. Many employers only consider people at least 18 years old. Some garbage collectors may work with especially dangerous and toxic materials, which does require special training, usually offered on the job. Most employers offer on-the-job training, and if the collector will be driving a commercial vehicle, a commercial driver's license may also be required.

What does a Garbage Collector do?

Garbage collectors serve an important role in society by helping manage waste, which if it builds up, poses enormous health problems in society. Every city that has experienced a garbage collector strike understands what a necessary function waste management is. Without waste management, disease may spread rapidly and pest populations spike, creating a non-habitable environment. Garbage collectors (sometimes called sanitation engineers, waste or refuse collectors, dustmen or garbage hauler) travel with their waste collection vehicles and teams along pre-determined routes and sections of a city and collect waste, green waste and compost, recyclable objects and materials, etc. from residences and businesses. As is common around the US, most of this activity happens in the early morning in residential areas. Waste materials are brought to the appropriate facilities, where they are sorted and processed. Garbage collectors often work in small teams, with a driver and a worker that can handle dumpsters, waste bins, etc. Garbage collectors also assist the cities they work for with special collections duties, like removing irresponsibly disposed of furniture, electronics, and other large objects from public areas. Some garbage collectors also assist in specialized pickups of materials and chemicals that due to their toxic nature, must be disposed of in special ways at special facilities so the harmful chemicals do not contaminate the rest of the residential or commercial environment. There is one other category of garbage collector, and that has to do with private waste removal services. Also known as hauling services, these workers contract with individuals and businesses for the removal of large amounts waste that can not be disposed of in the weekly garbage pickup or that are objects that require special handling, either due to their size or toxicity. These collection services are private companies not associated with the city, county or other government agencies.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Garbage Collector?

Collectors must be able to keep up with the physical demands of the job, which can be highly physical. As they often work in small teams, teamwork and skills are also important. Shifts for garbage collectors tend to start very early in the day, which is another consideration, and they may be asked to work on weekends and on certain holidays. Employers are looking for people who are reliable and punctual.

How much does a Garbage Collector make?

In 2007, collectors made between $17,000 - $50,000+. Since this job is almost always associated with a government organization or with a company that contracts out to cities and other government groups, many garbage collectors are in unions. People who wish to work in this area may need to account for these dues in their expenses. On the other hand, unions are designed to help workers obtain stronger benefits and fair pay and treatment.


Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Because almost every city in the US has workers who are garbage collectors and because the job is necessary but mostly physical, it is hard to talk about influential professionals in this field.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

The International Union of Operating Engineers is one important organization in the field of garbage collection. For more information on local waste disposal enterprises, it is best to check with each city and see whether a government entity or private company oversees waste management in an area. These, too, would be other good information sources.

What are the top cities for Garbage Collector jobs?

Because this job is needed in every city, there is no one city that has the "best" opportunities in this field. There do appear to be a large number of opportunities in cities throughout the US, however.

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