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Details for Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors


Collect and dump refuse or recyclable materials from containers into truck. May drive truck.


  • Inspect trucks prior to beginning routes to ensure safe operating condition.
  • Refuel trucks and add other necessary fluids, such as oil.
  • Fill out any needed reports for defective equipment.
  • Drive to disposal sites to empty trucks that have been filled.
  • Drive trucks along established routes through residential streets and alleys, or through business and industrial areas.
  • Operate equipment that compresses the collected refuse.
  • Operate automated or semi-automated hoisting devices that raise refuse bins and dump contents into openings in truck bodies.
  • Dismount garbage trucks to collect garbage and remount trucks to ride to the next collection point.
  • Communicate with dispatchers concerning delays, unsafe sites, accidents, equipment breakdowns, and other maintenance problems.
  • Keep informed of road and weather conditions to determine how routes will be affected.
  • Tag garbage or recycling containers to inform customers of problems such as excess garbage or inclusion of items that are not permitted.
  • Clean trucks and compactor bodies after routes have been completed.
  • Sort items set out for recycling and throw materials into designated truck compartments.
  • Organize schedules for refuse collection.
  • Provide quotes for refuse collection contracts.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


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Wages for this career
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