Waste management jobs are probably much more varied, and many are probably better paid than you are probably aware. In the past waste management jobs were synonymous with the “dustman” (refuse collection operative) and tip worker. If that is what you think, then you are a long way out of touch and I would suggest that you might want to consider a job in the waste management industry.
The old problem with waste management industry jobs in solid waste, that they were in the most part menial, mostly only suitable for young men, and low paid, is now a thing of the past due to the increasing amount of recycling and increasing use of other methods of diversion away from landfill.
The waste management industry workforce is expending fast to handle the much more sophisticated methods now being used to recycle and when recycling is not possible to process and treat the waste people throw out, to give it a value.
If there is no way to make the waste more valuable due to its nature it nowadays will often be incinerated in technically complex incineration plants and these demand skilled labor forces to operate and maintain them.
The waste management jobs being created in the many new waste treatment facilities range from those that supervise the operation of the processing plant to the engineers and administrators that maintain the equipment and those that handle the many financial transactions in accepting the waste processing it and being paid for the end products produced.
Probably the lowest training requirement of all the waste management jobs being created in these new waste treatment plants are for the operatives needed to act as pickers on conveyors which carry the source separated but still mixed (co-mingled) “clean” recycled materials that we all put in our recycling containers.
Various types of paper are mixed when collected, glass may be collected with tins, and plastics arrive mixed in all sort of different type of plastic materials which have a much greater value once separated into separate types. That is where the pickers come in, and the job is simple and repetitive, lifting out the separate material off a conveyor as the household recycled material moves past on the conveyor.
The best paid and most sought after jobs will be those of the engineers and managers who run the operations at each Municipal Solid Waste, and Commercial and Industrial waste treatment plant whether this be a MRF (Materials Recycling Facility), an Incinerator (often also called a Energy from Waste (EfW) Facility, Waste to Energy Plant (WtE), or one of the other new waste technology plants which include:
- Thermal and mechanical heat treatment plants including MSW autoclave facilities
- Bio-waste plants including composting facilities and anaerobic digestion (AD) plants
- Medical waste wastes and autoclave facilities
- Hazardous waste wastes
- Construction waste recycling depots
- Commercial recycling plants.
If you are considering a career in the waste management industry I would encourage you to find out more.
I have worked in the waste management industry, both in the public and private sector, for over 20 years. I have found it to provide good stable employment at reasonable pay.
It is as such a rapidly developing industry you can expect new opportunities to develop and provide for your promotion. These new opportunities will come both in new ways of doing things, and also from expansion within the industry as more and more waste is diverted away from landfills and processed for further use.
I have found that waste management jobs are interesting, and that the people tend to be straightforward and very friendly. But, perhaps the biggest recommendation for waste management jobs at present, with the economy suffering from recession, is that the industry is in general remarkably well insulated from economic downturns.