Recycling and Rubbish Collectors

ANZSCO ID 8996

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
2,700
Future Growth
0%
Weekly Earnings
$1,230
Full-Time Share
69%
Female Share
6%
Average age
46

Summary

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

Also known as: Waste Removalist.

Specialisations: Garbage Depot Worker.

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Recycling or Rubbish Collector. Although some workers have a certificate II or III in waste management or waste driving operations.

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

Characteristics

Job Type
Labourers
Skill Level
Entry level
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
Physical Demand
  • Medium
  • Heavy
  • Very Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.

Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.

Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
0%
(or 0 jobs)
From
2,500
in 2021
To
2,500
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 3,400
2012 2,300
2013 2,400
2014 2,400
2015 3,400
2016 2,200
2017 1,400
2018 3,500
2019 1,300
2020 2,800
2021 2,500
2026 2,500

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 69% of people employed as Recycling and Rubbish Collectors work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 3 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.

    Median full-time earnings are $1,230 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,031
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $1,238

    Median hourly earnings are $31, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.
Earnings Recycling and Rubbish Collectors All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,230 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, 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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
55.2%
2
Public Administration and Safety
27.6%
3
Administrative and Support Services
10.3%
4
Other Services
3.4%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

36.4% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

23.2% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

15.8% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

6.6% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

10.0% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

1.8% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

4.9% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.2% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Recycling and Rubbish Collectors All Jobs Average
NSW 36.4 31.6
VIC 23.2 25.6
QLD 15.8 20.0
SA 6.6 7.0
WA 10.0 10.8
TAS 1.8 2.0
NT 4.9 1.0
ACT 1.2 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
46
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
6%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Recycling and Rubbish Collectors is 46 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.

    Females make up 6% of the workforce. This is 42 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

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 Bracket Recycling and Rubbish Collectors All Jobs Average
15-19 3.4 5.0
20-24 8.5 9.3
25-34 16.7 22.9
35-44 17.9 22.0
45-54 27.2 21.6
55-59 12.2 9.0
60-64 8.4 6.0
65 and Over 5.7 4.2
Median Age 46 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Recycling or Rubbish Collector. Although some workers have a certificate II or III in waste management or waste driving operations.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Property Services VET training pathways.

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 Qualification Recycling and Rubbish Collectors All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 0.3 10.1
Bachelor degree 3.3 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 4.7 11.6
Certificate III/IV 26.2 21.1
Year 12 20.3 18.1
Year 11 8.3 4.8
Year 10 and below 37.0 12.5

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.


Skills and Knowledge

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

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 43%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 41%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 41%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 39%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 39%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 37%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 34%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 34%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 32%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 32%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 32%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 32%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 30%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 30%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 30%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 30%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 30%

    Repairing

    Fixing machines or systems.

  • 30%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.

  • 29%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 29%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 75%

    Customer and personal service

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

  • 60%

    Transportation

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

  • 51%

    Mechanical

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

  • 46%

    Public safety and security

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

  • 43%

    Education and training

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

  • 37%

    Law and government

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

  • 36%

    Sales and marketing

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  • 36%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 35%

    Production and processing

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  • 34%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 31%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 30%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 27%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 27%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 26%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 24%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 22%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 22%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 20%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 19%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 46%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 46%

    Static strength

    Lift, push, pull, or carry things.

  • 45%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 43%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 43%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 43%

    Colour discrimination

    Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.

  • 43%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 41%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 41%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 41%

    Reaction time

    Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.

  • 41%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 39%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 39%

    Extent flexibility

    Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.

  • 39%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 37%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 34%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 32%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 32%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 32%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 32%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 73%

    Handling and moving objects

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

  • 72%

    Controlling equipment or machines

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

  • 65%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

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

  • 64%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 57%

    Checking for errors or defects

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

  • 56%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 52%

    Working with mechanical equipment

    Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

  • 51%

    Looking for changes over time

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

  • 50%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 45%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 45%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 44%

    Working with the public

    Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.

  • 43%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 40%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 38%

    Working with electronic equipment

    Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing electronic devices and equipment.

  • 37%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 35%

    Negotiating and resolving conflicts

    Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.

  • 34%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 28%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 28%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.


Interests and demands

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.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 52%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 33%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 19%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 14%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 62%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 57%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 40%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 33%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 29%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 19%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

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

  • 100%

    In an enclosed vehicle or equipment

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

  • 100%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 100%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

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

  • 98%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 98%

    Exposure to contaminants

    Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.

  • 95%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 93%

    Making repetitive motions

    Spend time making repetitive motions.

  • 89%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 89%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 88%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 87%

    Very hot or cold temperatures

    Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

  • 87%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 80%

    Dangerous equipment

    Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.

  • 77%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 76%

    Competition

    Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.

  • 75%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 73%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

  • 71%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 71%

    Indoors, not heat controlled

    Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).

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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