Recycling Officer

Job Description:

Recycling officers promote recycling in the community and run local recycling schemes.

Job Category:
Environmental Industry

What you will do:

You’ll promote recycling to local communities, schools and the media.

You’ll develop recycling policies and advise on recycling, waste reduction and environmental issues.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • managing local recycling facilities and collection services
  • reporting and monitoring
  • assessing tenders and managing contracts
  • managing budgets and funding applications
  • investigating complaints
  • recruiting and training volunteers


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • leadership skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • business management skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Recycling Officer, specific subjects are not typically required, but having a good general education and certain skills is beneficial for success in this field. Recycling Officers work in various capacities related to waste management and recycling programs. Here are some skills and subjects that can be useful for a career in this area:

  1. Environmental Science: While not strictly a requirement, taking courses related to environmental science or biology can provide a foundational understanding of environmental issues, waste management, and recycling processes.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for data analysis, record-keeping, and financial aspects of waste management programs.
  3. Geography: Subjects related to geography can be beneficial as they help in understanding local geography, waste collection routes, and environmental factors affecting recycling.
  4. Business Studies: An understanding of business principles can be valuable, especially if you’re involved in managing recycling programs or working on related administrative tasks.

Post School

Entry requirements will differ from country to country. In the UK, however, many employers will ask for a Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma or degree in waste management or environmental sciences, accredited by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM).

Paid or unpaid experience working in waste management, or on local recycling or environmental projects, can help you get in if you don’t have a higher education qualification.

You could get into this job through an environmental conservation apprenticeship.

You’ll usually need a driving licence.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work standard office hours Monday to Friday.

You might work overtime if you’re setting up new schemes, attending evening meetings or running publicity events.

You’ll be based in an office, but will also travel in your local area to give talks, attend meetings and visit recycling sites.

Career Path & Progression:

You could move into freelance work as an environmental consultant.

With further study you could become a chartered waste manager.