Refuse Collector Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | August 15, 2023
Refuse Collector Job Description
Refuse Collectors help in collecting and removing waste, refuse or garbage for further processing.

Refuse Collector Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

This post provides exhaustive information on the job description of a refuse collector, to help you know the work they do.

It presents the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities that commonly make up the refuse collector work description in most organizations.

It also shows the major requirements recruiters may want you to fulfill if you are seeking to work as a refuse collector.

Please, continue reading to learn more about the refuse collector career:

What Does a Refuse Collector Do?

A refuse collector is responsible for collecting and removing waste, refuse or garbage, and other recyclable materials for further processing them.

The refuse collector job description may entail operating waste collection vehicles, operating by a designated route, collecting refuse, and reporting any issues that may arise to supervisors or management.

A refuse collector work as part of a small team that includes a driver and several loaders, with the primary purpose of collecting trash and recyclables along designated routes within a town or city.

He/she may work in a private waste disposal organization, or by the public works department.

A refuse collector, alongside his/her team, is responsible for operating and driving garbage or recycling trucks and operating hydraulic lifts to pick up containers.

Depending on where and how he/she works, a refuse collector may be required to manually deposit trash into garbage trucks that do not possess hydraulic equipment.

One of the daily activities that are executed by refuse collectors is to drive along a route in a particular town or city with his/her team to look out for waste or other disposable materials.

A refuse collector, with his/her team, is then responsible for picking up and collecting waste, garbage or refuse and emptying trash cans or bins to ensure that the designated environment is free of any unwanted garbage or refuse.

The refuse collector work description also involves separating collected materials that can be recycled from the refuse collected for further processing.

It also includes ensuring that the garbage truck is driven back to the disposal sites to get rid of refuse that has been collected.

To work as a refuse collector, individuals need to possess and demonstrate certain skills and qualities, including physical fitness, stamina, the ability to manage related occupational hazards, good time management skills, teamwork, adequate mechanical knowledge, good organizational skills, and good communication skills.

In terms of academic qualifications, the job position of a refuse collector does not require any formal educational requirements.

However, several years of training according to the state and apprenticeship can be beneficial to individuals who want to become a refuse collector.

Refuse Collector Salary: The median salary for a refuse collector is $36,160 annually.

Refuse Collector Job Description Example/Sample/Template

Here are major tasks, duties, and responsibilities that commonly define refuse collector job description in most organizations:

  • Ensuring that trucks are inspected before beginning routes to guarantee safe operating conditions
  • Ensuring that garbage trucks have enough fuel to run for the day and adding other necessary fluids such as oil
  • Driving back to disposal sites to empty garbage trucks that have been filled
  • Staying updated and informed on road and weather conditions to determine how routes may be affected
  • Driving trucks along established routes such as residential streets and alleys, or business and industrial areas
  • Communicating with dispatchers on issues regarding delays, unsafe sites, equipment breakdowns, accidents, or any other maintenance issues
  • Operating automated or semi-automated hoisting devices that assist in raising refuse bins and dumping garbage into the relevant openings in truck bodies
  • Crushing refuse or garbage collected.

Refuse Collector Job Description for Resume

If you have worked before as a refuse collector or are presently working in that position and are writing a new resume, it will help your resume greatly to include the professional experience section to it.

The professional or work experience part of your resume provides an opportunity to prove that you have experience working in the refuse collection field by highlighting the duties and responsibilities of the role that you have performed or are currently performing.

You can apply the refuse collector job description example shown above in making the perfect professional experience section for your resume.

Refuse Collector Requirements – Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities for Career Success

If you are seeking the refuse collector role, here are major requirements most recruiters may want you to meet to be hired:

  • Physical fitness and stamina, since a refuse collector will be required to carry heavy trash cans, bins, and also dismount and mount garbage trucks occasional, which require a good physical condition
  • Teamwork, as a refuse collector is required to work cooperatively with other team members, including the driver and several loaders since the job cannot be done alone
  • Good communication skill is also required since a refuse collector is expected to talk to customers, team members, supervisors, and dispatch center, and convey his/her information efficiently and effectively
  • Good time management skill, which enables a refuse collector alongside his/her team to collect refuse in a designated area within a given time
  • Several years of training as designated by the state and apprenticeship.


If you are a recruiter or employer needing to hire for the refuse collector role, you will have to create a description of the role to inform prospective candidates of the kind of duties to expect to perform if they are hired for the refuse collection job in your organization.

This information will help them to make a self assessment of their ability to be effective on the refuse collector job and if they should apply for it.

This will also help you in getting the best candidates for the refuse collection role.

This post is also valuable to individuals who are interested in the refuse collector career, to learn all they need to know about what the role does.