Bin worker

Alternative titles for this job include Refuse collector, waste operative, recycling collector, bin loader

Bin workers remove waste and recycling from homes or businesses.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Bin worker

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could get into this job through an intermediate waste resource operative apprenticeship.

This apprenticeship typically takes 12 months to complete as as mix of learning in the workplace and off-the-job training.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You could apply directly to job vacancies. Employers set their own entry requirements.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work on your own
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • be over 18 years of age

You'll need a large goods vehicle (LGV) licence to apply for jobs that include driving the bin collection lorry.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • collect rubbish and recycling from homes or businesses
  • use a lifting mechanism to transfer rubbish to the bin lorry
  • operate a waste compactor
  • sort recycling at the kerbside
  • drive a bin lorry safely
  • help unload the waste at designated facilities
  • record the amount of waste you've collected

Working environment

You could work in the community or at a waste recycling site.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, physically demanding and dirty.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to team leader or supervisor.

With further training you could become a waste management officer or recycling officer.

Current opportunities

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Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Plant Operative Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £32,110 a year Annually
  • Location: Lillyhall Industrial Estate, Lillyhall, Workington

Apprentice Waste Resource Operative

  • Wage: £11,648 a year Annually
  • Location: 108 FAREHAM ROAD, GOSPORT

Courses In England

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