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Recycling operative

Alternative titles for this job include Waste resources recycling operative, recycling centre operative

Recycling operatives collect, sort and recycle materials like glass, paper and plastics from homes and businesses.

Average salary (a year)

£13,000 Starter

to

£24,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

early mornings

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Recycling operative

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

Apprenticeship

You can do an intermediate apprenticeship as a waste resource operative.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply to companies directly if you've got relevant skills and experience, for example from working in waste collection.

You may have an advantage if you've had forklift truck training or can drive a large goods vehicle.

More Information

Career tips

An employer may give you training on the job, for example to get your large goods vehicle licence.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a recycling operative from Energy & Utilities jobs and the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management.

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

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 tasks you may:

  • collect recyclable materials
  • load and unload recycling collection vehicles
  • use lifting machinery to help move and sort waste
  • pick materials from a moving conveyor
  • sort waste and remove non-recyclable items
  • inspect materials for any contamination
  • keep your work area clean and maintain equipment

Working environment

You could work at a waste recycling site or from a vehicle.

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

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 qualifications and experience you could move into a supervisory role at a waste collection site.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Plant Operative Apprenticeship

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

Courses In England

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