Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors

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Also known as:
Garbage Collector, Recyclable Materials Collector, Refuse Collector, Scrap Metal Collector, Solid Waste Collector, Trash Collector

ABOUT REFUSE OR RECYCLABLE MATERIAL COLLECTOR CAREERS
Video transcript

Refuse and recyclable material collectors gather trash and recyclable material from homes and businesses along regularly schedule routes. They lift and empty garbage cans into trucks or operate a hydraulic lift truck that picks up and empties dumpsters. The job is sometimes unpleasant but always essential.

And that's just the point, people and business need to have their refuse collected and often they are willing to pay someone quite well to do it. This is hard physical work that must be done in all seasons, and weather but for many, it an entry-level position that provides a solid start in the working world.

Those who start out as refuse collectors working for a municipal government may be able to transfer to other jobs in other city government departments and those who work for private firms can advance to the position of "driver" and have even greater earning potential.

SNAPSHOT
Collect and dump refuse or recyclable materials from containers into truck. May drive truck.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
LOW
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Tag garbage or recycling containers to inform customers of problems, such as excess garbage or inclusion of items that are not permitted.

Refuel trucks or add other fluids, such as oil or brake fluid.

Fill out defective equipment reports.

Dismount garbage trucks to collect garbage and remount trucks to ride to the next collection point.

Clean trucks or compactor bodies after routes have been completed.

Drive trucks, following established routes, through residential streets or alleys or through business or industrial areas.

Communicate with dispatchers concerning delays, unsafe sites, accidents, equipment breakdowns, or other maintenance problems.

Dump refuse or recyclable materials at disposal sites.

Inspect trucks prior to beginning routes to ensure safe operating condition.

Operate equipment that compresses collected refuse.

Check road or weather conditions to determine how routes will be affected.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
TOP SKILLS
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Equipment Maintenance Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.