Scope of Work

Anyone working as a waste manager or recycling officer will be involved in one or more activities listed below, This including waste material collection, transport, processes, recycling or disposing:

maintain and operate landfills or recycling centres,

manual handling and sorting material,

calculate life cycle for products,

formulate asset strategies in relation to waste asset portfolios,

get familiarized with the environmental management systems (EMS)standards,

implement, conduct, monitor waste management systems,

you may conduct audits,

manage waste/recycling related projects,

develop financial strategies,

communicate with different stakeholders


What You Need to Learn

Project Management: planning, implementing, completing and evaluating projects

Business: developing strategies, business growth, risk management, marketing, finances

Environmental Management Systems: supply chain, energy efficiency, impacts, opportunities

Operations Management: life cycle, asset management strategies,

Finances: basic finance concepts, profits, investment, efficiency

Environmental Waste Management: domestic waste, industrial waste, recycling, sustainability concepts

Communication skills: verbal and written communication

Engineering concepts: machinery, maintenance, construction, development


Starting a Career

People usually start volunteering for a solid waste or recycling company or at an entry level, such as assistant, labourer or driver. Most career entry levels include:


Volunteering at recycling centres

Working as a recycling attendant

Working as a labourer at landfills and recycling centres

Working as a forklift operator

Working as administrative assistants

Working as heavy vehicle driver transporting recyclable material

Assisting in collecting recyclables


Progressing a Career

Main ways to progress in your career are through:

Networking: this is an important factor in advancement -  join waste and recycling associations, councils or other professional bodies in this field. Attend industry conferences, join committees, meet with other industry professionals. Networking broadens your exposure in your industry and this could lead to opportunities for work or advancement. Also use social media to share articles about waste and recycling strategies etc. The better known you are the greater your opportunities.

Great communication: effectively communicate with colleagues, senior staff and stakeholders at all levels; collaborative communication and concise and simple language are all important. Listening is as important as speaking - listening provides you with salient, broad  or  new information that may be important in your role.

Learning: can be informal e.g. what you will learn on the job or formal learning such as short courses, training programs etc. Examples of learning: enrolling in an online training to develop new skills on environmental waste management, sustainable business operations; supervision training; management and so on. Shorter courses may lead to a qualification or further learning.

Experience: any experience is important to help you progress in your career - it builds confidence in performing routine tasks and when working on projects. Engage in new activities and always take on new concepts, jobs or roles when offered - the broader your knowledge and experience the better your chance of advancement; this also shows flexibility - managers notice flexible and experienced employees.