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Refuse Collectors

Work Environment

Refuse workers must work outdoors in all kinds of weather, including cold, snow, rain, and heat, and they must handle dirty, smelly objects. The work is active and often strenuous, requiring the lifting of heavy refuse containers, hopping on and off the truck constantly, and operating hoists and other equipment. Workers often encounter garbage that is not packed correctly. Because there is a danger of infection from raw garbage, they must wear protective gloves and are sometimes provided with uniforms. Workers must always be aware of the dangers of working around traffic and mechanical compactors. Most workers wear heavy steel-toe boots to help avoid foot injuries from accidentally dropping containers or large objects. New employees receive instruction on safety precautions they will need to take as well as instructions about their responsibilities.

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