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Recycling officer

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

Annual Salary

£19,000 to £35,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: evenings;

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Recycling officer jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • manage local recycling facilities and collection services
  • report on and monitor recycling services
  • assess tenders and manage contracts
  • manage budgets and fund applications
  • manage and promote local sustainability projects and initiatives
  • provide advice on waste management and recycling issues
  • investigate complaints
  • recruit and train volunteers

Working environment

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You could work in an office or at a waste recycling site.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly
University

Many employers will ask for a higher national diploma or degree in waste management or environmental sciences, accredited by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
College

You could do a college course to learn some of the skills you need for this job, like a Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Sustainable Waste Management.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • Level 3 Junior energy manager
  • Level 6 Environmental practitioner
  • Level 7 Sustainability business specialist degree apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Volunteering and work experience

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

Direct application

You could apply directly to work as a recycling officer. It will be helpful if you have a good standard of education, and experience of recycling projects and initiatives before applying.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • have a full driving licence

More information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in recycling from the Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board.

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With further study you could become a chartered waste manager.

You could also move into freelance work as an environmental consultant.

You may be able to apply for chartered environmentalist status. You can find out more about being a chartered environmentalist from the Society for the Environment.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • leadership skills
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • business management skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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