16 Pros and Cons of Working for Waste Management

When you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, working for Waste Management can have many perks.

As a trash collector, you’ll be collecting waste and keeping trash from overflowing on the streets while everyone else is sleeping.

It’s not a company for everyone or a job for everyone, but it can be rewarding if you enjoy working hard to keep your community clean.

In this article, we’ll dive into the top pros and cons of working for Waste Management.

Pros of Working for Waste Management

1. You can find a job with Waste Management almost anywhere in the United States.

If you plan on moving to another U.S. city or town in the future, it should be easy to transfer within the company at Waste Management.

Depending on your position, Waste Management is frequently hiring new employees across the nation.

From California to Florida to New York to Massachusetts and everywhere in between, it can be relatively easy to find a job at Waste Management.

This is a major pro if you like traveling or if your partner needs to travel every few years for work. 

2. You will stay busy for your whole shift.

When staying idle on the job is your least favorite thing to do, you will appreciate how there is always something to do on the job at Waste Management.

Whether you work as a driver, mechanic, call center representative, or refuse collector, you will never run out of work at this company.

For the wrong person, this would be overwhelming and hectic.

For the right person, the constant work will make shifts go quickly and create a sense of purpose all day long.

3. Opportunity for growth

Because Waste Management is such a large company, you should be able to move up in the company as you prove yourself in a variety of different departments.

If you care about the company promoting from within, you can express this to your supervisor.

Once an opening that matches your qualifications becomes available in your region or even another state, you can work on carving out a career for yourself instead of staying at the same level.

4. Weekly pay

Many employees at Waste Management love their weekly pay schedule.

This means that you can expect a steady stream of income for your hard work.

The weekly pay can make it easier to budget than biweekly pay would.

If you have a big expense come up during one week, it can be comforting to know that you will have more money in your bank account the following week.

Additionally, it can be nice to see every week that your effort in the workplace literally pays off. 

5. Variety of positions to fill

At Waste Management, there are more jobs available than the typical refuse collector or garbage truck driver that might come to mind when you think about the company.

They hire writers, customer service specialists, parking attendants, plant managers, and more.

If you have a specific background or set of skills, a company this large will have no problem putting them to good use.

This is why it’s a great idea to keep an eye out for positions that may fit your qualifications at Waste Management.

Even if you don’t see yourself working with physical waste, you can find your place at this company.

6. Great pay

According to payscale.com, Waste Management pays garbage truck drivers an average of about $21 per hour.

Garbage men tend to make slightly less than that with an average of $19 per hour.

When you work for this company, you will almost certainly earn more than minimum wage.

The pay is one of the biggest perks of working here to most employees outside of the weekly pay and job stability.

7. The company is stable and established

Unlike working for a start-up or new company, you can feel secure in your job when you work at Waste Management.

The company has been around for decades and it doesn’t seem like it is going out of business any time soon.

Since there will always be a need to collect waste, there will always be a need for Waste Management.

It doesn’t get much more secure than that when it comes to working in any economic landscape!

8. Great benefits

At Waste Management, employees can enjoy benefits such as PTO and medical insurance if they qualify.

These benefits are great if you have a family or simply want some extra security and perks with your job.

As most of those who have been in the workforce know, pay isn’t everything.

You need great benefits to make a company truly attractive in this day and age. 

Cons of Working for Waste Management

1. Working with trash

While it might seem like an obvious con, some folks don’t think about how it will feel to work with garbage until they actually start the job.

When you are working with trash, you will get your hands dirty.

You will also encounter some pretty disgusting, nasty items during your work day that you would not find in another setting.

It’s not something that everyone can handle.

Before you start working for WM, consider whether or not you could see yourself handling trash every day.

2. Physically demanding

If you work as a driver or as a garbage man, you will probably find that the work takes a physical toll on top of the mental toll of working with trash all day.

If you find manual labor exhausting or you have a health condition that limits your physical activity, working for Waste Management may not be ideal for your situation.

3. Early morning hours and late nights

Unless you are a true early bird, you will probably find the early mornings of trash collection to be grueling.

When you are not a trash collector, you are most likely rudely awoken by the sound of the garbage truck at the crack of dawn on garbage day.

For garbage collectors, getting up even earlier than that to haul trash can wreck their sleep schedule.

This is a major con for those who enjoy being night owls or despise early mornings.

4. Understaffing at times

On indeed.com, many current and former employees complained about understaffing spells at the company.

This is probably due to the difficulty and unpleasant nature of some of the jobs such as refuse collection.

If you get stressed out when you have too much work to do and not enough energy, understaffing could be a dealbreaker with this company.

Of course, since they are always hiring, if you can tough out the understaffed seasons you will have more of a team again.

5. Demanding work

At Waste Management, there is always a long list of demands that you need to attend as an employee.

If you work in refuse collection, your entire shift will be moving from one waste collection site to another.

The demands do not end on this job until you clock out.

This can be hard for those who are used to having a lot of downtime in previous roles.

If you like a chill, slow workday, WM is not for you.

6. Disgusting smells

If you get disgusted easily by putrid scents, that should be enough to give you pause when you are applying for a position at Waste Management in the garbage collection roles.

If you have a strong sense of smell or a sensitive gag reflex, this job may be more triggering to your senses than it is worth.

While it may seem silly to avoid a job or quit it because of a bad smell, terrible scents are part of the territory with Waste Management.

That is why this is a huge con to this company.

7. The large corporation can make employees feel like “just a number”

While it can be nice to feel secure in your job at a large company like WM, it can also feel like you are anonymous.

Since the company is so big, it does not have the tight knit culture and sense of community that a smaller operation might enjoy.

If you like knowing every higher up on a first name basis or you appreciate little tokens of gratitude from a small office staff, Waste Management’s corporate culture may feel impersonal and weird to you.

8. High hours

Full-time employees at WM can sometimes work over 50 hours a week.

If you like your free time, you may hate this schedule.

Also, it can take away from time you would spend with family or hobbies.

Over time, that can damage your relationships and well-being.

16 Pros and Cons of Working for Waste Management – Summary Table

Pros of Working for Waste ManagementCons of Working for Waste Management
1. You can find a job with Waste Management almost anywhere in the United States.1. Working with trash
2. You will stay busy for your whole shift.2. Physically demanding
3. Opportunity for growth3. Early morning hours and late nights
4. Weekly pay4. Understaffing at times
5. Variety of positions to fill5. Demanding work
6. Great pay6. Disgusting smells
7. The company is stable and established7. The large corporation can make employees feel like “just a number”
8. Great benefits8. High hours

Should You Work for Waste Management?

When you can receive great pay on a weekly basis for hard work, Waste Management can seem like a great option that you should try. 

If you find yourself disgusted by trash or you struggle with demanding jobs, this company might not be for you.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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