What Are the Different Types of Waste Collector Jobs?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 February 2020
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Waste collectors are people who collect and dispose of different types of waste. Waste collector jobs can vary, from residential garbage collectors to bulk waste collectors. Drivers are responsible for operating the waste collection vehicles, and other garbage collectors will collect waste bins by hand and dump them into the truck. The level of training or education needed for waste collector jobs can vary, though in most cases, no formal education is necessary. On-the-job training is usually required when a person is hired, and that person will usually work with more experienced waste collectors for a certain period of time.

A driver may have different duties depending on the type of truck being used. Some waste collector jobs labeled as driving jobs may only require the driver to be able to operate a commercial vehicle; this may mean a commercial driver's license may be in order. Other trucks will require the driver to be able to operate various hydraulic lifts and other hydraulic systems used to haul trash receptacles and compact the trash once it is stored in the truck. It is likely that such waste collector jobs will also require the driver to be trained in safety techniques as well hazardous materials handling.


Waste collector jobs are available in other areas as well. Bulk waste pickup operators are workers who specialize in collecting large, bulky items that cannot otherwise be transported by the trucks that perform daily or weekly garbage pickup. This may involve the use of grappling arms mounted to heavy-duty trucks, or simply collecting large pieces by hand and loading them into flatbed or other types of trucks. In some cases, yard waste may be disposed of this way as well. Sometimes a waste collector will drop off a large dumpster or container using a flatbed truck with a winch; he or she will then pick up the filled dumpster or container at a later date.

Hazardous waste collector jobs will require the operator to get certain clearances that allow him or her to handle hazardous waste. Special trucks may be used for such waste collection, and this job can be hazardous because toxic materials may be among the hazardous waste. The operator must be trained to properly handle such waste, but even with proper precaution and safety equipment, the level of job danger will remain relatively high. Examples of hazardous waste include by-products from factories as well as medical waste.


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