Street Cleaner Careers

How to become Street Cleaner

What does a Street Cleaner do?

Street cleaners keep streets and public areas in cities, towns, villages and the countryside free of litter and rubbish. Duties include:

  • litter picking - picking up papers, packaging, plastic bags, drinks cans, broken glass and discarded syringes
  • using a brush and shovel, mechanical sweepers or motorised sweeping vehicles to clear roads, pavements and gutters of litter, leaves and twigs, weeds, dog excrement, dust and silt, and any larger items that have been discarded
  • using a pressure washer to clean paved areas and cobbled streets
  • removing graffiti and fly posters
  • clearing ice and snow - in winter street cleaners might keep roads and paved areas free of ice and snow by spreading grit or chemicals.
Street cleaners usually work as part of teams responsible for a particular zone of a town or city.

What's the working environment like working as a Street Cleaner?

Most street cleaners work a 37 to 40 hour week, Monday to Friday. They start at around 7am or earlier, and finish work during the afternoon. Weekend work and overtime is common after public events such asfootball matches or concerts.

Street cleaners work outdoors every day of the year, whatever the weather. The work is active, involving bending, walking and lifting. Protective clothing is usually worn.

What does it take to become a Street Cleaner?

To be a street cleaner you should:

  • be fit and active
  • be happy to work outdoors in all weathers
  • be able to work unsupervised and as part of a team
  • be able to understand and keep to health and safety regulations
  • have some numeracy skills for keeping timesheets and mileage records
  • be able to deal politely with the public.

Street Cleaner Career Opportunities

Most street cleaners are employed by local authorities, or by companies contracted to provide cleaning services on the authority's behalf. There are approximately 15,000 street cleaners in the UK.

It is also possible to work as a street cleaner for owners of property open to the public, such as stations, airports, large parks and tourist attractions.

You may be able to move into other areas of work within local authorities, such as refuse collection or direct works. With experience and qualifications, progression to supervisory and management levels is possible.

Further information

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

The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICS)
9 Premier Court
Boarden Close
Moulton Park
Tel: 01604 678710

Asset Skills
2 The Courtyard
48 New North Road
Helpline: 08000 567160

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