- HireRight's 2016 Transportation Spotlight report found 41% of drivers are leaving transportation jobs to spend more time at home, while 21% are leaving due to health issues. It also estimates that across all industries, an average of 96,178 new drivers will be needed per year over the next 10 years, as reported by Waste360.
- Chris Doherty of the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) told Waste360 that there will be 49,330 new jobs for collection drivers and 71,500 new diesel mechanic jobs across the industry by 2022.
- NWRA, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), and other industry associations have made it a priority to focus on this issue and provide resources and tools for recruitment and driver training.
While garbage truck driving may not sound like a glamorous job, CNN Money recently reported that the average annual salary for the position is $40,000 — not too shabby when the average high school graduate earns about $30,000 annually. According to Waste360, this salary could reach up to $100,000 or more depending on experience level and the company.
Driver recruitment is challenging, however, due to qualifications that are needed to fulfill the position. Aside from a proper license and clean driving record, today's technologies require drivers to be able to handle various sophisticated systems.
"Not only has the demand for workers increased but (so has) the types of skills," said Kathy Morris, director of the Waste Commission of Scott County, IA, to CNN.
In order to recruit drivers, companies like Waste Management have organized recruitment and hiring events at various locations across the country, and have promoted these events through social media and advertising.
Just heard a rare @WasteManagement radio commercial to recruit drivers in the DC area. Smart way to reach the target audience!— Kristin Musulin (@WasteDiva) May 16, 2016
The industry is also looking to target candidates outside of the usual garbage driver demographic, such as millennials, veterans, and women. Waste Management recently joined the Women In Trucking (WIT) Association as a "Silver Level Partner" to encourage women to consider careers in professional driving.