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Recycling operative

Alternative titles for this job include Kerbside collector

Recycling operatives collect recyclables like glass, paper and plastics from homes and businesses for sorting at waste collection sites.

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 a 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 Talent Source Network and the Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board.

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 and dexterity
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • knowledge of recycling processes
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you may:

  • empty recycling boxes and wheelie bins into the collection vehicle
  • put boxes and bins back and make sure that you have left no litter
  • use lifting machinery to help move and sort waste
  • check that the right kind of materials have been put out for recycling
  • sort waste and remove non-recyclable items
  • inspect materials for any contamination
  • speak to members of the public about recycling schemes
  • 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

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

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Waste Services Apprenticeship - Level 2

  • Wage: £159.10 Weekly
  • Location: Stoke-on-Trent

Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a recycling operative?

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