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Recycling Officer 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 Recycling Officer. This page details the following Information:-

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

    Finding Suitable Work

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    Working Duties Expected

    Working for local councils, recycling officers help to plan and develop the councils̢۪ environmental action plans, and carry out schemes for recycling waste materials such as glass, paper and cans. All councils have someone responsible for recycling policies, working for either environmental services or cleansing departments. Sometimes the work is combined with areas such as waste management, environmental health or community activities.

    Typical duties of a recycling officer include some, or all, of the following:

    • working to improve established recycling strategies and developing new systems to collect and recycle waste in order to meet national targets
    • working with other council departments, such as cleansing and planning, to increase the number of recycling areas
    • finding out about new recycling initiatives
    • managing contracts with companies to remove waste material for recycling
    • advising local businesses on waste disposal and recycling initiatives
    • answering queries from members of the public and dealing with complaints
    • discussing concepts of recycling with local communities
    • engaging local communities with recycling and wastes management initiatives.

    Hours and Environment
    Recycling officers normally work flexible hours during the daytime over 39 hours, Monday to Friday. There may be part-time and job share opportunities.

    The work is office-based, but generally involves some outdoor work, travelling to check on recycling areas, looking for new sites, and visiting companies and local groups to talk about recycling plans and policies.

    Some recycling jobs involve hands-on work, which can be dirty, messy and smelly, for which protective clothing is provided.

    Skills and Interests
    To be a recycling officer you should:

    • have awareness and understanding of environmental issues
    • have a proactive approach to waste management, recycling policies and environmentalism
    • have good communication skills, and be confident to talk to council staff and the public
    • have good negotiating skills and a persuasive nature to encourage people to care for their environment and often to change the habits of a lifetime
    • have good written skills to produce reports and plans
    • have good organisation and planning skills.

    Some councils ask for a degree or BTEC/SQA higher national certificate/diploma in a relevant subject, such as environmental sciences/studies, chemistry, biology, geology or chemical engineering. Others ask for a background that has given experience of waste management, communicating with the public, and negotiating and commercial skills.

    To obtain entry to a first degree course in the above subjects you will need a minimum of five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) and two A levels/three H grades, or equivalent. A level/H grades in science subjects are often required for entrance. Many universities demand more than the minimum. You should contact individual universities to establish exact requirements.

    For details of qualification equivalents see:

    Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
    Scottish Qualifications Authority
    An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

    Training is normally on the job. Recycling officers can study towards the Chartered Institution of Wastes Managements Structured Education and Training Scheme (SET). This scheme is designed to assist new graduates to acquire the practical skills required to develop a career within the wastes management industry.

    The Chartered Institute of Wastes Management have also developed the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Recycling Managers'' Training Programme, a three-day residential course for existing recycling officers, held at several locations around the UK.

    NVQ/SVQ Levels 3 and 4 in Waste Management Operations are available.

    Graduates may wish to study for postgraduate qualifications in waste management, sustainable waste management or related subjects.

    The main employers are local council waste management and refuse collection services.

    It may be necessary to move from council to council to pursue promotion opportunities. There are limited opportunities to manage waste and recycling sections, and there is the opportunity to move into private sector work.

    There are opportunities to move into related areas of work within local authorities, such as environmental projects officer or environmental co-ordinator.

    Annual Income

    Figures are intended as a guideline only.

    New entrants start on around £17,220 a year.
    More experienced recycling officers may earn up to £25,272 a year.

    Further information
    LGcareers *
    Layden House
    76-86 Turnmill Street
    EC1M 5LG
    Tel: 020 7296 6503

    Chartered Institution of Wastes Management
    9 Saxon Court
    St Peters Gardens
    NN1 1SX
    Tel: 01604 620426

    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 Recycling Officer Work Information

    We have a section available at this site on Recycling Officer 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 Recycling Officer 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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