Job type

Waste plant manager

£30k - £65k

Typical salary

37 – 40

Hours per week

Waste plant managers oversee the day-to-day operations of waste facilities, recycling plants and landfill sites.

More info

  • Look after the running of waste facilities, landfill sites and recycling plants
  • You'll need an understanding of the waste industry and environmental issues, plus management skills
  • Progress into senior management at a regional or national level

Waste and how we manage it is a big concern for our society. As a waste plant manager your role would involve managing how household or business waste is handled, making sure it meets environmental standards. You could focus your work on plants that have high environmental standards and where material is reused or recycled if you have a passion for the environment.


  • Monitoring and assessing waste that comes into the plant
  • Making sure the plant meets environmental and safety standards
  • Applying for and renewing operating permits for each type of waste
  • Managing staff
  • Negotiating contracts with commercial clients
  • Developing new business
  • Writing reports for regional managers or head office


You'll normally be office-based on site but you'll visit the plant or facility regularly to get updates from staff, supervisors and engineers.

You'll need

You'll need a passion for the environment, negotiating skills, the ability to build good customer relationships, and IT skills. You could work your way up to a manager position from a site based role, or apply for graduate jobs if you have a degree.

Most employers will also expect you to have a relevant qualification in an area like chemistry, environmental science, or waste management operations.

It would be also be helpful to have waste management service experience, and knowledge of waste legislation to pass the Operator Competence Scheme  (often known as COTC).


You could improve your career prospects by gaining chartered manager status with the Chartered Institution of Waste Management. This could lead to roles like regional manager or waste consultant, specialising in areas like environmental legislation.   

You could also work in related industries like water treatment or renewable or energy.