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Refuse Collection Driver Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Refuse Collection Driver. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Refuse Collection Driver
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Refuse Collection Driver Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Refuse collection drivers work in a small team, alongside refuse collection operatives, collecting waste from homes and businesses. Each day the team has to collect the rubbish from a certain number of properties. The collection vehicle moves along the street and the refuse collection operatives walk behind, collecting the bins or bags.

Drivers keep the vehicle moving slowly, stopping to keep pace with the operatives. They sometimes have to drive and turn in tight spaces. They make sure that refuse collection operatives are clear of the machinery before it crushes the rubbish, possibly watching what is happening at the back of the vehicle through mirrors or on a closed-circuit television. If something goes wrong they react quickly and press an emergency button to stop the machinery.

Some companies specialise in removal of waste that could be dangerous or has to be disposed of in a particular way. Examples include healthcare waste from hospitals, and waste in liquid form such as oil and other chemicals. In such cases, drivers and operatives involved receive special training.

Hours and Environment:

Most refuse collection drivers work Monday to Friday, between 37 and 40 hours per week. Hours are often between 7am and 3.30pm. Overtime may be available.

Refuse collection drivers work outdoors, in all weather conditions. Drivers sit in their cab most of the time, apart from when they take the vehicle to be emptied. Safety clothing, such as heavy duty gloves, reflective jackets, safety trousers and steel toe capped boots may be provided.

Skills and Interests:

As a driver, you should:

  • have good concentration to react in an emergency
  • have patience and be able to keep calm
  • have good driving skills to manoeuvre the vehicle in narrow spaces.


To become a driver you need an LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) licence, so you must be 21 or over. You will normally need to have a clean driving licence.

No academic qualifications are required.


Before starting work, you are trained in health and safety, including safe lifting, and in basic tasks such as attaching the bins to the collection vehicle. You continue to learn the job with the help of members of your team.

In some areas, refuse collection operatives who want to progress to become a driver can have their LGV training subsidised by their employer.

Once employed, you can work towards NVQs/SVQs in Waste Management Operations at Levels 1-4. Refuse collectors can work towards NVQ/SVQ Levels 1 and 2 in Waste Collection and in Waste Management Operations.

Supervisors can work towards NVQ/SVQ Level 3 in Waste Management Supervision, and managers can work towards NVQ/SVQ Level 4 in Managing Waste Collection Operations.


Local authorities and commercial waste management companies throughout the UK employ refuse collection drivers.

It is possible to go on to become a team leader, a supervisor and a manager. In local authorities you could move on to other manual jobs within the council.

Annual Income:

The annual income section is intended as a guideline only.

Drivers earn between £15,000 and £20,000.
Supervisors earn between £17,000 and £25,000.

Further information:

Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM)
9 Saxon Court
St Peter''s Gardens
Tel: 01604 620426

Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board (WAMITAB)
Peterbridge House
3 The Lakes
Tel: 01604 231950

LGcareers *
Layden House
76-86 Turnmill Street
Tel: 020 7296 6503

National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some are continuing to operate in their respective fields. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website:

Other Useful Refuse Collection Driver Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Refuse Collection Driver job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Refuse Collection Driver Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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