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

Also known as: Waste Removalist.

Specialisations: Garbage Depot Worker.

You can work as a Recycling or Rubbish Collector without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. A course in waste management might be helpful.

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

All Recycling and Rubbish Collectors

  • $1,586 Weekly Pay
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Higher Unemployment Unemployment
  • 2,700 workers Employment Size
  • Entry level Skill level rating
  • 69% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 44 hours Average full-time
  • 46 years Average age
  • 6% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Recycling and Rubbish Collectors (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
from 2,700 in 2018 to 2,400 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 2,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 400 a year).

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2018.
  • Location: Recycling and Rubbish Collectors work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Administrative and Support Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,586 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (69%, similar to the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 46 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (54%).
  • Gender: 6% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
20081400
20093200
20102200
20112600
20123400
20131600
20144000
20152000
20162400
20173200
20182700
20232400

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsRecycling and Rubbish CollectorsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings15861460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, 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 Services55.7
Public Administration and Safety24.0
Administrative and Support Services5.0
Health Care and Social Assistance3.7
Other Industries11.6

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
NSW36.431.6
VIC23.225.6
QLD15.820.0
SA6.67.0
WA10.010.8
TAS1.82.0
NT4.91.0
ACT1.21.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketRecycling and Rubbish CollectorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-193.4-5.05.0
20-248.5-9.39.3
25-3416.7-22.922.9
35-4417.9-22.022.0
45-5427.2-21.621.6
55-5912.2-9.09.0
60-648.4-6.06.0
65 and Over5.7-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationRecycling and Rubbish CollectorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.3-10.110.1
Bachelor degree3.3-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma4.7-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV26.2-21.121.1
Year 1220.3-18.118.1
Year 118.3-4.84.8
Year 10 and below37.0-12.512.5

You can work as a Recycling or Rubbish Collector without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided. A course in waste management might be helpful.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • construction induction card (white card)
  • manual drivers licence
  • heavy ridged (HR) driver's licence
  • Psychometric or aptitude tests

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Property Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Customer and personal service

    75% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Transportation

    60% Skill level

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

  3. Mechanical

    51% Skill level

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

  4. Public safety and security

    46% Skill level

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

  5. Education and training

    43% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-7081.00 - Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors.

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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Wear common protective or safety equipment

    100% Important

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  2. In an enclosed vehicle or equipment

    100% Important

    Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).

  3. Outdoors, exposed to weather

    100% Important

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  4. Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    100% Important

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  5. Freedom to make decisions

    98% Important

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 53-7081.00 - Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors.

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