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Refuse Collectors


Earnings of refuse collectors vary widely depending on their employer, union status, and other factors. Beginning refuse collectors who work for small, private firms and are not union members are sometimes paid at hourly wages not far above the federal minimum wage. Median annual earnings of refuse and recyclable materials collectors in May 2019 were $37,840 a year for full-time work, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries range from less than $22,780 to more than $67,370. In general, workers employed by large cities under union contracts make more money, and those working for small companies without union contracts make less.

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