In Summary - Refuse Collector
The Work - Refuse Collector
Refuse collectors remove household rubbish and collect industrial and commercial waste. Household waste collectors usually work in teams of two to five loaders plus a driver.
Householders usually leave the bins at the roadside for emptying. Loaders push the bins to the back of the truck where the bins are attached to an automatic lifting and tipping mechanism. The loaders operate controls at the rear of the truck to compress the rubbish.
Loaders help the driver to manoeuvre the truck by giving directions and hand signals. They may also assist at the disposal site.
Driving a refuse wagon is a specialist job. Drivers may have supervisory responsibility for the crew. They may also deal with members of the public if there are any problems. Drivers are also responsible for the vehicle and make daily routine maintenance checks. To be a driver you will need a HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) driving licence.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Operate automated or semi-automated hoisting devices that raise refuse bins and dump contents into openings in truck bodies.
- Inspect trucks prior to beginning routes to ensure safe operating condition.
- Drive trucks, following established routes, through residential streets or alleys or through business or industrial areas.
- Operate equipment that compresses collected refuse.
- Dump refuse or recyclable materials at disposal sites.
- Dismount garbage trucks to collect garbage and remount trucks to ride to the next collection point.
- Refuel trucks or add other fluids, such as oil or brake fluid.
- Fill out defective equipment reports.
- Communicate with dispatchers concerning delays, unsafe sites, accidents, equipment breakdowns, or other maintenance problems.
- Check road or weather conditions to determine how routes will be affected.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Interests - Refuse Collector
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
As a refuse loader you need to be physically fit and active as you are likely to spend most of the time on your feet and can be involved in lifting and carrying heavy bins and plastic sacks. However, most bins now have wheels which require manoeuvring into place on the automatic lifting device on the refuse wagon.
It is important that you are aware of health and safety regulations.
Working well as a team is essential. Each member of the crew needs to be reliable and co-operative.
Entry Requirements - Refuse Collector
Pay & Salary - Refuse Collector
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 25k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.