Garbage collectors usually work directly for local governments, while some may work for private companies which are contracted by local governments. They are responsible for collecting garbage and trash from residential and commercial customers, and must be able to operate large garbage trucks that are often equipped with hydraulic lifting devices which collect containers of garbage and recyclable materials. They must then transport the loads to designated disposal sites.
Garbage collectors must always monitor their equipment to ensure that it is in good working order, and inform supervisors regarding all concerns and necessary repairs. They must be physically fit, as this job is labor-intensive, and they are required to stand for long periods of time. They must be able to stoop, bend, climb, and maintain balance in order to stand on the outsides of their garbage trucks. They may be required to lift or carry up to 75 lbs. and must also be able to work in all weather and road conditions.
Employers usually require that their garbage collectors have current Class A or B Commercial Licenses, clean driving records, and successful background checks and drug tests. They must be reliable and able to work in a team environment, and must always follow their company’s safety guidelines. Garbage collectors typically begin work early in the morning, and educational requirements are not strict for this position.
Garbage Collector Tasks
Transport solid waste to appropriate disposal sites.
Manually and mechanically collect solid waste.
Communicate with dispatchers concerning delays, unsafe sites, accidents, equipment breakdowns, or other maintenance problems.
May drive trucks, following established route.