How to Apply to Become a Garbage Man

By Jody Hanson

Without garbage men – also now known as waste handlers or sanitation workers – towns and cities would quickly deteriorate into squalid filth. It only took four days in June 2009 for Toronto to lose its reputation as a clean city when the sanitation workers went on strike. Up before the crack of dawn, and often working in pairs, these diligent workers start collecting the garbage while the city sleeps. According to Job Money, garbage workers handled 243 millions tons of trash in 2009. People who want to work in this field need a commercial driver’s license and strong backs, legs and arms. Job Money reports the average salary for waste handlers to range from $26,000 to$ 46,000.

Prepare your application. Write a resume with your name, contact details – including your cell phone number and email address – education and work experience. Write a one-sentence career statement explaining why you want work in the waste management industry. Limit your resume to one page.

Line up your references. Ask two or three people who know you and can comment on your work and attitude – former teachers, local business people – to act as references for your garbage worker applications.

Determine which department in your local city hires sanitation workers, and hand-deliver your resume. Taking it there in person may allow you to speak to someone in human resources. If they have a specific form, fill it in and attach a copy of your resume.

Check the local newspapers in the careers section to see if there are any openings. Also go online, and type in “garbage men jobs” and “waste collectors” and your city or state to see what the search engine come up with.

Find out where the waste collectors socialize and get to know them. The easiest way to apply for a job is when you have an inside track. If you could meet the foreman of the crew that would be helpful.

Check back with the human resources department, if you don’t hear from them in due course. This lets them know that you are still interested in applying for a garbage man’s position. It also reminds them of who you are, and they are more likely to remember you when a position becomes available.

About the Author

Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.