Waste Management

Waste Management and recycling is a fast-evolving industry, tasked with transforming more than 400 million tonnes of UK waste into power and reusable raw materials each year. With huge legal and environmental pressures to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill sites, recycling and reuse is big business with technology innovations really driving change.

There will always be waste materials to process – so your skills will always be in demand

Jobs are available in the industry at all levels, including entry level

The industry

The waste management industry employs more than 141,000 people in the UK. These professionals collect, transport, treat and manage waste and recyclables, often at highly sophisticated Energy from Waste and landfill sites. What’s more, the technology in this area is advancing all the time.

Companies outside the established industry are increasingly getting involved in waste management. For example, large retailers and manufacturers are carrying out their own waste recycling/reusage/waste to energy schemes, or working in partnership with the traditional sector to do so.

More information on employers in the waste management industry.

There are many different types of roles with exciting career prospects

A highly skilled workforce is needed to work with the new and emerging technologies 

Some of the jobs

  • Energy from Waste Engineer: Delivers projects, work plans and feasibility studies and controls contractors and consultants during the planning, construction and commissioning of projects
  • Site operative: Customer facing individual who ensures waste is disposed effectively, recycling maximised and site cleanliness maintained.
  • Mobile plant operative: Operates mobile plant, such as excavators and dumper trucks, to move materials across the site. 
  • Maintenance technician: Servicing and repairing site equipment and tools ensuring documentation is maintained and kept up to date. 
  • Crane Operator: Operates overhead gantry cranes used for feeding waste into industrial incinerators
  • Site attendant: Manages cleaning and site maintenance to make sure it’s free from litter and waste. 
  • Shift plant operative: Operates and carries out routine plant machinery inspections and maintenance.  
  • Landfill operative: Ensures the landfill site is kept clean and tidy as well as providing assistance to customers. 
  • Landfill Site Supervisor: Works on a landfill site and supervises operations, ensuring waste is tipped in a safe manner
  • Recycling Operative: Collects recyclable materials from a variety of places and delivers them to a plant for processing
  • Maintenance Fitter: Provides routine and breakdown maintenance to process machinery such as, pumps, valves and compressors. 
  • Compost Plant Operative: Operates mobile plant such as loading shovels, tractors and shredders to inspect, sort and process incoming materials in order to produce good quality compost
  • Weighbridge Operator: Operates a weighbridge (a machine for weighing vehicles) and keeps accurate records

Next steps…

If you’re interested in protecting the environment and contributing to a more sustainable future, sign up for updates or search for current vacancies.

Many jobs in this industry are active and based outdoors

Help to protect the environment and drive increased recycling and reuse