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How to become a Waste Management Officer

waste management officer careers

What does a Waste Management Officer do?

Waste management officers oversee the collection, recycling and disposal of waste. Their key role is to analyse information and make plans to meet business and environmental targets. In this capacity, they are normally attached to the cleansing or environmental departments of the local council but could equally be employed by commercial operations.

Depending on their experience, they could manage a team of staff, often refuse collection officers, which they must motivate, appraise and develop. External contractors are common within the industry, and servicing their contracts is also important. Waste management officers have responsibility for disposal processes and recycling facilities, and inspect them regularly.

Data is collected on the delivery of waste management services through site surveys. The waste management officer often collates this information; compares it to targets and regulations; analyses its impact; and writes reports for senior managers. Sometimes, they will draft estimates on the cost of implementing changes.

The handling, treatment and disposal of waste is overseen by the Waste Regulation Authority (WRA). This body regulates and monitors pollution control, licensing and storage practices. Waste management officers must ensure compliance with waste control regulations.

Some waste management officers are project officers, and may advise small businesses or local communities on waste reduction or environmental best practice. See Recycling Officer for further information on roles of this kind.

What's the working environment like working as a Waste Management Officer?

Waste management officers usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Overtime and weekend work may be often required, as waste disposal and recycling facilities are open seven days a week.

Much of the work is office-based. However, a driving licence is essential as the job involves visiting contractors and facilities.

What does it take to become a Waste Management Officer?

A waste management officer should:

  • have excellent communication and administrative skills
  • be able to handle a range of people, eg general public and contractors
  • have an understanding of the efficient and effective management of waste
  • have managerial skills and an understanding of budgets
  • be aware of relevant waste control regulations
  • be able to interpret statistical information
  • be able to prioritise and meet deadlines
  • be computer literate, with the ability to use spreadsheets and databases
  • be able to compile and present reports.

Waste Management Officer Career Opportunities

Promotion is possible within waste disposal and collection authorities, although relocation may be necessary to achieve this.

Waste management officers can find routes into recycling, project management or operational management. Recycling roles include environmental project officer or environmental co-ordinator (see Recycling Officer profile for further details). Operational management roles involve budgetary control and the strategic management of resources and people. They require a number of years of supervisory experience.

As many waste management jobs are within the public sector, see the LG careers website for information on job opportunities.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Waste Management Officer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Energy & Utility Skills Limited
Friars Gate Two
1011 Stratford Road
B90 4BN
Tel: 0845 077 9922

Chartered Institution of Wastes Management
9 Saxon Court
St Peter’s Gardens
Tel: 01604 620426

Waste Management Industry Training & Advisory Board (WAMITAB)
Peterbridge House
3 The Lakes
Tel: 01604 231950

Local Government Careers

Facts and Stats:

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  • A drop of water may travel thousands of miles between the time it evaporates into the atmosphere and the time it falls to the earth again as rain, sleet, or snow

Courses to help you become a Waste Management Officer