Recycling Officer


    Recycling officers are responsible for advising about, developing and implementing waste recycling policies and schemes.

    As a recycling officer you’ll plan and develop environmental and waste reduction policies. You’ll do this through the management of local recycling schemes and the creation and delivery of educational programmes, and by organizing community and media liaison initiatives.


    Employers of recycling officers

    Recycling officers are primarily employed by local authorities to reduce domestic and industrial waste by increasing what is reused. However, there may also be positions available with charitable and educational establishments.



    • encourage households and businesses to recycle more;
    • initiate new recycling schemes;
    • monitor, improve and expand existing schemes and facilities, e.g. recycling banks, kerbside collections and composting;
    • strategically plan for the management and development of recycling and find new ways to meet local and national targets;
    • work to ‘best practice’ schemes and guidelines in order to maximise resources and reduce costs;
    • collect data, compile statistics and draft reports;
    • manage budgets, assess tenders and prepare funding bids;
    • advise and assist local community groups in carrying out their recycling;
    • prepare, manage and monitor recycling contracts;
    • manage and promote initiatives through advertising and publicity campaigns;
    • keep abreast of, and comply with, current recycling legislation;
    • advise local businesses on waste disposal and recycling initiatives;
    • recruit and train volunteers in community organisations.



    It is not essential to have a degree or a diploma to become a recycling officer. Experience, personal qualities and knowledge of current environmental, waste management and recycling legislation is just as important as academic qualifications.

    However, some employers may look for degrees or diplomas, and relevant subjects that are useful include:

    • biology;
    • civil or structural engineering;
    • earth sciences;
    • environmental science, either biological or physical;
    • materials science/technology.



    • Management skills
    • Excellent problem solving skills
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Oral/written communication skills
    • A genuine interest in the environment