Recycling and Rubbish Collectors collect household, commercial and industrial waste for recycling and disposal.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.

Tasks

  • riding on and in garbage and recycling trucks
  • collecting rubbish and items for recycling from domestic, commercial and industrial premises
  • loading rubbish and recycling into bins and garbage and recycling trucks
  • unloading garbage and recycling trucks
  • may operate compacting equipment on garbage trucks
  • may supervise other garbage collectors

Job Titles

  • Recycling or Rubbish Collector
  • Recycling or Rubbish Collector (also called Waste Removalist)

    Specialisations: Garbage Depot Worker

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    Unavailable
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    High School or Certificate I
  • Employment Size

    3,100
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    80.0%
  • Female Share

    20.0%
  • Full-Time Share

    72.1%

Find Vacancies

This is a very small occupation employing 3100 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, New South Wales has a large share of Recycling and Rubbish Collectors.
  • They mainly work in: Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services; Administrative and Support Services; and Public Administration and Safety.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 38.2 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 53 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 6 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20054600
20063400
20072500
20081800
20093200
20102000
20113200
20122400
20132900
20142900
20153100
20202700

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryRecycling and Rubbish CollectorsAll Jobs Average
Full-time72.168.4
Part-time27.931.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)38.240.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services67.2
Administrative and Support Services9.5
Public Administration and Safety8.7
Transport, Postal and Warehousing6.5
Other Industries8.1

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateRecycling and Rubbish CollectorsAll Jobs Average
NSW46.731.8
VIC23.325.5
QLD14.219.8
SA2.96.8
WA4.411.2
TAS2.72.0
NT5.81.1
ACT0.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketRecycling and Rubbish CollectorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-194.0-5.45.4
20-2410.3-9.99.9
25-3416.7-23.423.4
35-449.7-21.721.7
45-5423.6-21.121.1
55-595.6-8.78.7
60-6419.1-5.95.9
65 and Over11.1-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryRecycling and Rubbish CollectorsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males80.0Males53.6
Females20.0Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Recycling and Rubbish Collectors who are reliable and work well as part of a team.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    84% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Transportation

    83% Important

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  3. Public Safety and Security

    72% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  4. Mechanical

    67% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  5. Law and Government

    59% Important

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

Occupational Information Network Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    92% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  2. Operating Vehicles or Equipment

    92% Important

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  3. Controlling Machines and Processes

    86% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  4. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    85% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  5. Handling and Moving Objects

    81% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Occupational Information Network Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

go to top