Job type

Refuse collector

£15k - £30k

Typical salary

38 – 40

Hours per week

Refuse collectors remove waste and recyclables from homes and businesses for disposal or recycling.

More info

  • Remove waste and recyclables from homes and businesses
  • Active outdoor work
  • You could progress to team leader or supervisor


  • Move bags, bins and recycling bins and boxes
  • Use a lifting mechanism to tip the waste from bins into the lorry
  • Throw plastic bags into the back of the lorry
  • Crush the waste
  • Sort recyclable materials at the kerbside
  • Guide the driver safely around streets
  • Report any problems with waste collections
  • Help to unload the waste at designated facilities
  • Record the amount of waste collected


You'll work between 6.30am or 7am and 3.30pm, Monday to Friday. You may work on public holidays, and on weekends. You'll work outdoors in all weather conditions. The job is physically demanding and you'll be provided with safety clothing.

You'll need

This role requires a polite and professional manner with the public, the ability to work quickly and cleanly, good levels of concentration, and observation and driving skills, for driver jobs.

There are no set requirements.

You may have to be aged 18 or over for health, safety and insurance reasons and to work as a waste collection driver, you must have a large goods vehicle (LGV) licence.

You could get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in sustainable resource management or waste collection.


With experience, you could progress to team leader or supervisor. With further training you could become a waste management officer or recycling officer.

You could also drive the collection lorry and supervise the team of loaders. As the driver, you'll:

  • Make routine maintenance checks on the lorry before you set out drive the lorry
  • Stop often and keeping pace with the loaders
  • Be aware of other vehicles or people in the road and steer the lorry safely
  • Make sure that people are clear of the lorry before crushing starts
  • Drive the collection vehicle to a transfer station, landfill site or recycling depot for weighing and unloading