Bin Worker

Job Description:

Bin workers remove waste and recycling from homes or businesses.

Job Category:
Government & Public Services

What you will do:

You could:

  • collect rubbish and recycling from homes or businesses
  • use a lifting mechanism to transfer rubbish to the bin lorry
  • operate a waste compactor
  • sort recycling at the kerbside
  • drive a bin lorry safely
  • help unload the waste at designated facilities
  • record the amount of waste you’ve collected


You’ll need:

  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to organise your time and workload (organisational skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a bin worker or waste collector, there are typically no specific subject requirements. However, you will need to meet certain physical and practical requirements for the job. Here are some qualities and skills that are important for this role:

  1. Physical Fitness: Waste collection often involves lifting heavy bins and working outdoors in various weather conditions, so being physically fit is crucial.
  2. Teamwork: Bin workers usually work as part of a team, so being able to collaborate effectively with colleagues is important.
  3. Attention to Detail: Paying attention to detail helps ensure that waste is properly sorted and disposed of according to regulations.
  4. Time Management: Efficiently managing your time is important to meet collection schedules and deadlines.
  5. Communication: Basic communication skills are needed to coordinate with team members and supervisors.
  6. Problem-Solving: You may need to address unexpected issues during waste collection, so problem-solving skills are valuable.
  7. Safety Awareness: Understanding and following safety protocols is essential to prevent accidents and injuries.

Ultimately, succeeding as a bin worker involves a strong work ethic, physical fitness, and a commitment to maintaining a clean and healthy environment for the community.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

You could get into this job through an intermediate waste resource operative apprenticeship.

This apprenticeship typically takes 12 months to complete as as mix of learning in the workplace and off-the-job training.

Direct Application
You could apply directly to job vacancies. Employers set their own entry requirements.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you will work 38 to 40 hours a week, and could work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

You could work in the community or at a waste recycling site.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, physically demanding and dirty.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could progress to team leader or supervisor.

With further training you could become a waste management officer or recycling officer.