Waste Operations Driver

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Adrian B

00:00:03 My name is Adrian B. I’m a Waste Operations Driver Relief Supervisor. Day to day, I’m mainly out on the road in a HGV dust cart collecting people’s domestic rubbish. I’m hoping to progress and, at the moment, I’m the Relief Supervisor so hopefully that will be a stepping stone for the next position when there’s a full time supervisor coming up.

00:00:27 Well the Relief Supervisor, he takes over from the normal supervisors when they go on holiday or if they’re sick then I’d be taken off my round and called into the office to carry out normal duties of a supervisor.

00:00:41 When I was six years old, I wanted to be a policeman. I think it was more likely encouraged by programmes like the Sweeney when they’re rushing around in their plain cars. When you see it on telly, it all seems quite exciting. Well I was a special constable for I think it was three years. I did actually do the policeman part but it was on a voluntary basis.

00:01:04 At school, I think I was very quiet, conscientious, just get on with the work and that was basically it. I wasn’t very good at sports. That was one of my pet hates actually. But then later on in life, I found out I had asthma so in those days, it wasn’t as easily picked up as what it is these days. So it could’ve been one of the factors why. 00:001:25 When I left school, my intentions were to join the Royal Air Force which I did apply for. I got through all the exams and I failed on the medical for being underweight and the recruitment person, he said if you had a jet taking off, you’d just get blown down the runway so if you come back in a couple of years when you’ve put some weight on, we can take you on.

00:01:47 I was a bit disheartened because I passed all the exams and the only stumbling block was medical. I didn’t foresee any future of trying to get in there because no matter how much I ate, I just couldn’t put any weight on. Nowadays, it’s the other way around.

00:02:02 I was talking to my mother to try and discuss the options of what would be the next step to take. We then lined up an apprenticeship in car mechanics which I passed and I got all my exams and I was offered a position running a garage as a manager and doing MOTs there as well which lasted, I think it was five or six years. Then a land developer came along, offered the owner of the garage a nice price which he couldn’t turn down so that was the end of that.

00:02:35 Then I saw a job advertised for driving buses which I went for and they trained me up to get my PSV licence. I drove the modern double-deckers around London, just mainly the 85 route from Kingston to Putney and that was because I was doing all this driving, that was when I started putting on the weight. If you want to put weight on, driving is the job you need to venture into.

00:03:01 Well that lasted for five years, then the company went into liquidation. At the time, I’d since split up with a previous partner and I was with a new partner and we’d been talking about the idea of moving up north so we just jumped in the car, we came up to Grimsby. There just so happened to be a cheap flat that we found at the time and we just settled down because of that really.

00:03:28 We had no idea where we were going at all. No plans, didn’t look on a map and stick a pin, we just went north and that was it. It did take a time to find a job. I was unemployed for a year and a half, then I went to a job centre and then I got a job with driving on the dust carts.

00:03:48 I think the highlight of my life is I’ve got seven children, they keep me busy at all times when I’m not at work. My eldest boy, he’s hoping to follow my lead in car mechanics. The ones up in Grimsby, they haven’t even thought about what they’re going to do when they grow up yet. They’re just too busy trying to make my life hell I think.


Adrian completed an apprenticeship and worked as a car mechanic before obtaining his PSV licence and becoming a driver. His early ambition was to join the RAF but he was rejected because he was underweight. He describes the highlight of his life as his seven children: “they keep me busy at all times when I’m not at work”.

More information about Waste disposal and environmental services managers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

72%  male 
28%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Waste disposal and environmental services managers plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the operations and development of waste disposal and related environmental services facilities within private firms or public authorities.
Entry is possible with a variety of academic qualifications, including a degree or equivalent qualification in a related subject, and/or relevant experience. NVQ levels 3 and 4 and professional qualifications are available. Professional qualifications are available from the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management and may be mandatory in some operational management posts.
  • Determines staffing, financial, material and other short- and long-term requirements;
  • Manages and delegates tasks to staff and co-ordinates the maintenance and optimum utilisation of waste disposal and related equipment to provide an efficient service;
  • Monitors levels of waste disposal, recycling and related environmental services, compiles statistics and produces reports;
  • Liaises with members of the local community to educate and promote the concept of recycling and appropriate waste management;
  • Keeps up to date with new legislation and liaises with appropriate regulatory bodies to ensure compliance with legislation regarding waste disposal and environmental services;
  • Co-ordinates the resources and activities relating to the procurement, collection, storage, processing and sale of scrap metal and related products.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Waste management 7231
Wholesale trade 2921
Specialised construction 1163
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