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How Ongoing Labor Shortages Affect Waste Management

‘Now hiring’ signs are everywhere and businesses are closing or reducing their operating hours due to lack of staff. There’s no question that labor shortages are affecting all industries, including service and manufacturing. One industry that is not getting attention for the labor shortage that is just as essential as service and manufacturing is waste management. Our dumpster rental company is exploring the causes and how the labor shortage is directly affecting waste management.  

Three Main Causes of Waste Management Labor Shortages

First, let’s look at what is driving these labor shortages in the waste management industry because these causes are actually much different than why service industry businesses like restaurants and stores are struggling to hire staff. 

The majority of waste management staffing shortages are due to a lack of drivers. Driving a trash pickup truck requires a commercial driver’s license and that narrows the hiring pool significantly due to three key reasons. 

Retirement

The average age of a commercial truck driver is 48, which is quite a bit higher than the average age of workers, particularly in blue collar industries. Higher average ages mean that more people are reaching retirement age each year. While over 400,000 people are joining the industry, high turnover means there aren’t enough long-term drivers to make up the amount being lost to retiring. 

Competition

Waste management truck driving offers the benefit of being local, meaning you’re driving in your city or region and will be home every evening with a set schedule. This is generally a benefit many CDL drivers don’t have, as long-haul driving and interstate driving keeps them on the road for several days or weeks at a time. 

Except over the past few years, Amazon, UPS, and local delivery companies have rapidly increased their hiring for commercial drivers, so not only are there fewer CDL drivers to go around, there are more local job opportunities. 

Training Program Access

Right now, Pell Grants that provide tuition assistance at colleges and universities are not allowed to be used at trade and vocational schools. This prevents people that need financial assistance from getting the training they need to get their commercial driver’s license and beginning a career, whether it’s in waste management or another sector. While the Professional Pell Education Learning (PROPEL) Act has been introduced in the House to allow Pell Grants and other government grants to be used in non-traditional education, it needs to pass a committee before being voted on by the House and Senate. 

Wall Recycling Is Hiring

Wall Recycling is currently hiring for several positions. While our team works hard, we make sure everyone is well compensated: 

  • Competitive pay
  • 401(k) retirement benefits
  • Holiday pay
  • Paid time off
  • Vacation  
  • Health insurance
  • Dental and vision insurance
  • Life insurance

We have positions available at all 12 of our North Carolina waste management centers: 

  • Metal scrap yard facility manager (Raleigh)
  • General laborer 
  • CDL A drivers
  • CDL B drivers
  • Diesel fleet mechanic night shift (Raleigh)

Learn more about these positions and apply online!