Summary Report for:
53-7081.00 - Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors
Collect and dump refuse or recyclable materials from containers into truck. May drive truck.
Sample of reported job titles: Driver, Front Load Trash Truck Driver, Garbage Collector, Garbage Man, Recycle Driver, Rolloff Truck Driver, Sanitation Laborer, Swamper, Trash Collector, Truck Driver
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Clean trucks or compactor bodies after routes have been completed.
- Tag garbage or recycling containers to inform customers of problems such as excess garbage or inclusion of items that are not permitted.
- Provide quotes for refuse collection contracts.
- Organize schedules for refuse collection.
- Sort items set out for recycling and throw materials into designated truck compartments.
- Make special pickups of recyclable materials, such as food scraps, used oil, discarded computers, or other electronic items.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Cargo trucks — Front loading garbage trucks; Shredder trucks; Side-loading garbage trucks; Tractor-trailer trucks (see all 9 examples)
- Container trailers — Walking floor trailers
- Desktop computers
- Loading equipment — Lifting arms
- Packaging compactors — Aluminum compactors; Cardboard compactors
- Personal computers
- Two way radios — Mobile radios
Technology used in this occupation:
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- 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.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Detailed Work Activities
- Inspect motor vehicles.
- Load shipments, belongings, or materials.
- Notify others of emergencies, problems, or hazards.
- Report vehicle or equipment malfunctions.
- Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
- Operate vehicles or material-moving equipment.
- Explain regulations, policies, or procedures.
- Operate packing or other material processing equipment.
- Schedule operational activities.
- Climb ladders or vehicles to perform duties.
- Maintain vehicles in good working condition.
- Sort materials or objects for processing or transport.
- Prepare accident or incident reports.
- Clean vehicles or vehicle components.
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 98% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 98% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 95% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 84% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 79% responded “Very important results.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 58% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 51% responded “Some freedom.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 33% responded “Extremely important.”
- Level of Competition — 43% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 29% responded “About half the time.”
- Consequence of Error — 55% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 25% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 41% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 50% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Contact With Others — 38% responded “Occasional contact with others.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 33% responded “Important.”
- Degree of Automation — 34% responded “Slightly automated.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 35% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 31% responded “Important.”
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|64||High school diploma or equivalent|
|31||Less than high school diploma|
Interest code: RC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$16.18 hourly, $33,660 annual|
|Employment (2014)||132,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Average (5% to 8%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||42,400|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Hand laborers and material movers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.