Rubbish/​Recycling Collector
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
21d ago

Rubbish / recycling collectors usually earn between minimum wage and $20 an hour. Owner-drivers earn more, but they have more costs to consider, such as vehicle maintenance.

Source : Waste Management New Zealand Limited, September 2015.

This information is a guide only. )

What you will do

Rubbish / recycling collectors may do some or all of the following :

  • drive or ride on a rubbish / recycling truck
  • pick up bags or bins of rubbish / recycling and throw them into the truck
  • separate rubbish for recycling
  • operate equipment that crushes rubbish and items for recycling
  • unload and clean rubbish / recycling trucks
  • drive forklifts or vehicles with tracks or rollers.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Rubbish / recycling collectors need to have knowledge of :

  • collection routes
  • what they should or should not collect
  • health and safety guidelines
  • correct lifting and carrying techniques
  • how to operate rubbish compactors and other types of rubbish / recycling collection vehicles.
  • Ability to drive a heavy vehicle, forklift or vehicle with tracks or rollers is also useful.

    Working conditions

    Rubbish / recycling collectors :

  • work irregular hours, including early mornings
  • work outdoors on suburban streets and in commercial and industrial areas
  • work in most types of weather, and in conditions that may be dirty, messy and smelly.
  • Entry requirements

    There are no specific requirements to become a rubbish / recycling collector. However, MITO is currently developing three resource recovery qualifications.

    To become a rubbish / recycling truck driver, you need to have a heavy vehicle driver's licence. It may also be helpful to have a licence with an F, R, T or W endorsement, so you can drive forklifts or vehicles with rollers or tracks.

    To drive a forklift you must also have an occupational safety and health (OSH) certificate.

    Personal requirements

    Rubbish / recycling collectors need to be :

  • practical, with an eye for detail
  • quick and efficient
  • disciplined and punctual.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for rubbish / recycling collectors includes any work involving physical labour or driving heavy vehicles.

    Physical requirements

    Rubbish / recycling collectors need to have a good level of fitness and must be strong, as they have to do a lot of running, lifting and throwing.

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