A community waste officer is responsible for environmental and waste reduction within a local authority. This is done through recycling schemes, with the recovery and re-use of a wide range of materials including glass, paper, cardboard, plastics, metals and textiles.
You could be:
- organising recycling of a range of materials for use in new products
- improving existing recycling systems and developing new ones to meet national targets
- collecting and comparing statistics to write reports on meeting future targets
- negotiating contracts with outside companies to recover and re-use materials
- advising local businesses on recycling and waste disposal
- managing budgets, producing financial forecasts and submitting data to regulatory bodies
- producing materials and giving presentations about recycling initiatives and to inform the public
- organising the distribution of recycling and composting bins and boxes
- keeping up to date with current policies and legislation on waste management.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of the company or organization you work for
- the demand for the job.
Pay rates for recycling officers are usually around £24,000 to £28,000 a year, rising up to around £36,000 with more experience. Senior managers may earn up to £45,000 or more.
- You would normally work a 37-hour week, Monday to Friday.
- You would spend part of your working day supervising recycling plants.
- You might have to travel to different sites.
- You may visit schools and community groups to give talks on recycling.
- You will spend time visiting companies to advise on waste management.
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- Many entrants have a degree (SCQF Levels 9-11) or have relevant work experience, but some employers may accept an HNC (SCQF Level 7) or HND (SCQF Level 8).
- Suitable degrees include environmental science, environmental management, sciences, wastes management or sustainability.
- Postgraduate qualifications are useful. The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) website has a list of relevant courses.
- You might be able to start at technician level and then move on to be a manager.
- For many jobs a full driving licence is essential.
Community waste officers work within local authorities, community organisations or private waste management companies.
You can search for jobs on the local authority website www.myjobscotland.gov.uk under waste management.
Workforce Education Levels (UK)
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Job Outlook Scotland and UK
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What Does it Take?
You need to be:
- interested in environmental issues and sustainability
- good at solving problems
- decisive with sound judgement
- attentive to detail
- able to write accurate reports and make presentations
- well organised to work under pressure to meet deadlines
- responsible and aware of health and safety
- willing to keep up to date with legislation.
You should have:
- IT skills
- good communication and negotiation skills
- confidence to speak in public.
- Recycling officers often move into a broader career in waste management.
- Taking a postgraduate course may help you to progress to higher management jobs.
- You could become a consultant to waste management companies and local authorities.
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