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Recycling officer

Alternative titles for this job include

Recycling officers promote recycling in the community, and run local recycling schemes.

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work


How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a recycling officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly


Many employers will ask for a higher national diploma or degree in waste management or environmental sciences, accredited by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You could do a college course to learn some of the skills you need for this job, like a Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Sustainable Waste Management.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information


Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • Level 3 Junior energy manager
  • Level 6 Environmental practitioner
  • Level 7 Sustainability business specialist degree apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


Paid or unpaid experience working in waste management, or on local recycling or environmental projects, can help you get started if you do not have a higher education qualification.

Direct Application

You could apply directly to work as a recycling officer. It will be helpful if you have a good standard of education, and experience of recycling projects and initiatives before applying.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in recycling from the Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • business management skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • have a full driving licence

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • manage local recycling facilities and collection services
  • report on and monitor recycling services
  • assess tenders and manage contracts
  • manage budgets and fund applications
  • manage and promote local sustainability projects and initiatives
  • provide advice on waste management and recycling issues
  • investigate complaints
  • recruit and train volunteers

Working environment

You could work in an office or at a waste recycling site.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With further study you could become a chartered waste manager.

You could also move into freelance work as an environmental consultant.

You may be able to apply for chartered environmentalist status. You can find out more about being a chartered environmentalist from the Society for the Environment.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a recycling officer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Environmental Science A Level

  • Provider: ITCHEN COLLEGE
  • Start date: 05 September 2023
  • Location: Bitterne

A-Level Environmental Science

  • Start date: 04 September 2023
  • Location: Bourne

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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