How To Start a Waste Management Career

Waste Management is one of the fastest growing industries in the 21st century, because virtually every city and rural area in America is dealing with the challenges of how to efficiently collect, transport, process, recycle and dispose of waste materials generated by individuals as well as businesses.  The proper removal of waste material boils down to a matter of public safety and health. A citizen might not miss the lawn being mowed, but let a week pass without the trash being collected and the calls to City Hall begin!

New York City alone generates over 13,000 tons of garbage daily which has to be handled in a timely and efficient manner, either for disposal by incineration or landfill or for recycling.

Formal academic training is not necessary to get started in this field unless you want to eventually become an administrator or supervisor.  If you like working out-of-doors, a good entry-level waste management position is as a driver or equipment operator collecting city trash.  The sanitation departments of both urban and rural areas also hire laborers and mechanics to keep trash collection trucks in tip-top working order.

If you enjoy working with people on a one-on-one basis, Waste Management in both the public and private sectors needs good customer service representatives to answer phone calls and take special request orders for things like bulky item or hazardous waste pick-up.

On the management and support side, waste management operations need workers with a variety of talents and skills, including accountants, secretaries, administrative assistants, legal aids, marketing and human resource specialists, operations specialists, and even sales professionals.

In this field you can work at a landfill site, at a recycling plant, at a sewage treatment plant, or specialize in toxic material clean up projects.

Career advancement in Waste Management offers unlimited opportunities.  If you want to be involved in the design and operation of the collections operations, transfer stations, landfill sites, waste-to-energy stations and recycling plants that are dealing with handling America's garbage, you may want to consider getting a degree in engineering, hazardous waste management or any field affiliated with waste management.

To get a start in the industry, contact the Department of Sanitation or Waste Management in your home city regarding entry-level job openings. You can also apply at local privately operated recycling plants and hazardous waste clean up companies.

Whatever sector of the Waste Management field you choose to join; your efforts will help keep America's garbage moving!


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