- Oversee the collection, management and recycling of waste from homes and businesses
- You'll need a passion for environmental issues and excellent business management skills
- Progress into senior management roles or environmental project management
As a waste management officer you might work for a local council or a private contractor company to plan and manage the removal of waste from households and businesses.
- Running and inspecting waste disposal sites and recycling facilities
- Managing teams of refuse and recycling collectors
- Monitoring local waste and recycling collection services
- Managing contracts with private waste collection companies
- Analysing statistics on local levels of waste and recycling
- Making sure that waste disposal is handled according to the law
- Aiming to meet waste reduction, landfill diversion and recycling targets
- Introducing new disposal or recycling schemes
- Advising local businesses and communities on waste reduction and environmental issues
- Managing budgets
You may work weekends if sites are open 7 days a week. You'll be mainly office-based, and visit sites and contractors in your local area. You'll usually need a driving licence.
You'll need an understanding of environmental issues, spoken and written communication skills, management and leadership skills, the ability to organise, prioritise and meet deadlines, an understanding of budgets and statistics, and IT skills for presenting data.
You could either take a degree or postgraduate course in waste management, or a related subject like environmental science, chemistry, geography, human geography or earth sciences, or gain experience and industry-recognised qualifications as a technician or supervisor in a waste management company.
Alternatively you could work your way up through the waste management industry, gaining skills and college qualifications along the way.
The Chartered Institution of Waste Management (CIWM) lists industry-recognised degrees and postgraduate courses.
If you take a degree, you'll also find it useful to gain practical experience in voluntary recycling or environmental projects.
You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.
With experience, you could progress into area or senior management. You could also move into recycling or environmental project management, or you could go freelance as an environmental consultant.