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WASTE DIVERSION TECHNICIAN: Educating People About Waste

About this video 

Kirk, a Waste Diversion Technician, talks about his job making sure people at big outdoor events properly dispose of their trash. He discusses his career path and the difference he knows he's made by diverting tons of recyclable and compostable trash away from landfills. He also provides advice for those interested in following his career path.

Degree: Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management
Job Title: Waste Diversion Technician

Job Summary: Hand Laborers and Material Movers

Job Description

Hand laborers and material movers transport objects without using machines. Some workers move freight, stock, or other materials around storage facilities; others clean vehicles; some pick up unwanted household goods; and still others pack materials for moving.

On-the-Job Training

no

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$0 - $25,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
-10 to 50 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Long hours, Part-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Indoor, Outdoor, Physically demanding
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Strength/stamina

Educational Path

Education requirement
Education Requirement
High school degree
Recommended majors
Recommended Majors
Construction Trades
View Detailed Career Data

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='280'>My</span> <span m='450'>current</span> <span m='700'>job</span> <span m='1030'>is</span> <span m='1440'>a</span> <span m='1550'>waste</span> <span m='1940'>diversion</span> <span m='2400'>technician.</span> <span m='3590'>That</span> <span m='4090'>basically</span> <span m='4510'>means</span> <span m='4930'>that</span> <span m='5320'>I</span> <span m='6070'>green</span> <span m='6430'>events.</span> </p><p><span m='6940'>So</span> <span m='7440'>for</span> <span m='7580'>example,</span> <span m='7990'>I</span> <span m='8130'>just</span> <span m='8440'>came</span> <span m='8700'>from</span> <span m='9560'>the</span> <span m='9620'>Moscone</span> <span m='10040'>Center.</span> <span m='10730'>And</span> <span m='11470'>the company</span> <span m='11740'>I</span> <span m='12010'>work</span> <span m='12240'>for got</span> <span m='12570'>a</span> <span m='12620'>contract</span> <span m='13160'>with</span> <span m='13490'>Dreamforce,</span> <span m='14780'>the</span> <span m='14880'>technology</span> <span m='15360'>conference.</span> <span m='16370'>And</span> <span m='16910'>the</span> <span m='16990'>company</span> <span m='17280'>I</span> <span m='17320'>work</span> <span m='17510'>for</span> <span m='17810'>is</span> <span m='17950'>responsible</span> <span m='18610'>for</span> <span m='19540'>anything</span> <span m='19960'>waste-related,</span> <span m='21010'>from</span> <span m='21250'>A-to-Z.</span> <span m='21890'>So</span> <span m='22710'>setting</span> <span m='23130'>up</span> <span m='23410'>a</span> <span m='24000'>compost,</span> <span m='24500'>recycle,</span> <span m='24920'>landfill</span> <span m='25290'>station.</span> </p><p><span m='25860'>Today</span> <span m='27550'>what</span> <span m='27790'>I</span> <span m='27870'>did</span> <span m='28150'>was</span> <span m='28560'>monitor.</span> <span m='29130'>Which</span> <span m='29350'>means</span> <span m='29620'>I</span> <span m='29700'>stand</span> <span m='30040'>by a</span> <span m='30210'>station,</span> <span m='31080'>and</span> <span m='31240'>when</span> <span m='31390'>people</span> <span m='31690'>come</span> <span m='32060'>to</span> <span m='32299'>throw</span> <span m='32549'>something</span> <span m='32980'>in</span> <span m='33240'>the</span> <span m='33310'>one</span> <span m='33510'>of</span> <span m='34150'>the</span> <span m='34280'>bins,</span> <span m='35090'>I</span> <span m='35230'>tell</span> <span m='35450'>them</span> <span m='35790'>what</span> <span m='36030'>goes</span> <span m='36250'>where.</span> <span m='37230'>And</span> <span m='37390'>it</span> <span m='37460'>can</span> <span m='37610'>vary</span> <span m='38300'>quite</span> <span m='38550'>a</span> <span m='38590'>bit.</span> <span m='39400'>This</span> <span m='39560'>was</span> <span m='39640'>a</span> <span m='39700'>very</span> <span m='39960'>mellow</span> <span m='40360'>day,</span> <span m='40780'>and</span> <span m='41040'>I</span> <span m='41150'>basically</span> <span m='41500'>just</span> <span m='41690'>stood</span> <span m='41860'>there.</span> </p><p><span m='42410'>Whereas</span> <span m='43210'>large</span> <span m='43580'>events,</span> <span m='44030'>like</span> <span m='44430'>outside</span> <span m='44880'>lands,</span> <span m='45215'>a</span> <span m='45550'>person</span> <span m='45840'>in</span> <span m='45910'>my</span> <span m='46050'>position</span> <span m='46810'>does</span> <span m='47510'>a</span> <span m='47610'>lot</span> <span m='47830'>of</span> <span m='48080'>hauling</span> <span m='48640'>very</span> <span m='48870'>heavy</span> <span m='49130'>bags.</span> <span m='50110'>We</span> <span m='50350'>actually</span> <span m='50720'>hand</span> <span m='51030'>sort,</span> <span m='51490'>because</span> <span m='52290'>people</span> <span m='53060'>in</span> <span m='53190'>a</span> <span m='53240'>big</span> <span m='53430'>festival</span> <span m='53840'>type setting</span> <span m='54150'>don't</span> <span m='54900'>really</span> <span m='55810'>take</span> <span m='56030'>the</span> <span m='56100'>time</span> <span m='56450'>to</span> <span m='56750'>sort</span> <span m='57040'>their</span> <span m='57170'>trash</span> <span m='57430'>properly.</span> </p><p><span m='57820'>So</span> <span m='57950'>we</span> <span m='58010'>have</span> <span m='58150'>pull</span> <span m='58640'>really</span> <span m='58860'>heavy</span> <span m='59070'>bags.</span> <span m='60080'>Bring</span> <span m='60260'>them back</span> <span m='60580'>to a</span> <span m='60720'>sorting</span> <span m='61080'>area,</span> <span m='62360'>and</span> <span m='63120'>hand</span> <span m='63500'>sort</span> <span m='63730'>through</span> <span m='63900'>bags.</span> <span m='64430'>It's</span> <span m='64530'>like</span> <span m='64650'>a</span> <span m='64720'>pretty</span> <span m='65000'>rough</span> <span m='65200'>sort,</span> <span m='65600'>but</span> <span m='65780'>we</span> <span m='65890'>actually</span> <span m='66240'>dig</span> <span m='66460'>through</span> <span m='66880'>bags.</span> </p><p><span m='67850'>Part</span> <span m='68070'>of</span> <span m='68150'>the</span> <span m='68230'>job</span> <span m='68560'>is</span> <span m='68860'>eco-education,</span> <span m='69485'>so</span> <span m='69820'>you're</span> <span m='69980'>educating</span> <span m='70470'>people</span> <span m='70810'>on</span> <span m='71130'>how</span> <span m='71290'>to</span> <span m='71380'>sort</span> <span m='72120'>their</span> <span m='72260'>waste</span> <span m='72500'>properly,</span> <span m='73520'>to</span> <span m='73760'>divert</span> <span m='74160'>as</span> <span m='74360'>much</span> <span m='75100'>waste</span> <span m='75770'>from</span> <span m='76120'>going</span> <span m='76380'>in</span> <span m='76440'>the</span> <span m='76510'>landfill</span> <span m='76730'>as</span> <span m='76920'>possible.</span> <span m='77360'>By</span> <span m='77770'>either</span> <span m='78810'>putting</span> <span m='79030'>it</span> <span m='79240'>back</span> <span m='79480'>into</span> <span m='79620'>the</span> <span m='79710'>recycle</span> <span m='81210'>process,</span> <span m='81720'>or</span> <span m='82970'>composting</span> <span m='83460'>it.</span> </p><p><span m='84450'>I</span> <span m='84680'>am</span> <span m='84850'>I</span> <span m='84900'>Recreation</span> <span m='85490'>Parks</span> <span m='85740'>Tourism</span> <span m='86100'>major,</span> <span m='86920'>with</span> <span m='87130'>an</span> <span m='87320'>Outdoor</span> <span m='89010'>Parks</span> <span m='89540'>and</span> <span m='89640'>Natural</span> <span m='89890'>Resource</span> <span m='90400'>emphasis.</span> <span m='90970'>So</span> <span m='91920'>I</span> <span m='92060'>chose</span> <span m='92320'>this</span> <span m='92960'>career</span> <span m='93160'>path</span> <span m='93420'>because</span> <span m='93980'>I'm</span> <span m='94290'>getting</span> <span m='94550'>into</span> <span m='94740'>environmental</span> <span m='95280'>education.</span> <span m='95890'>And</span> <span m='96020'>I</span> <span m='96070'>have</span> <span m='96220'>experience</span> <span m='97250'>in</span> <span m='97440'>environmental</span> <span m='98000'>education,</span> <span m='98570'>leading</span> <span m='99410'>naturalist-led</span> <span m='100790'>interpretive</span> <span m='101270'>tours.</span> </p><p><span m='101650'>So I</span> <span m='101860'>am a</span> <span m='102120'>naturalist.</span> <span m='103320'>And</span> <span m='103630'>so I</span> <span m='103910'>would</span> <span m='104150'>lead</span> <span m='104360'>nature</span> <span m='104650'>tours,</span> <span m='105280'>which</span> <span m='105930'>includes</span> <span m='107180'>educating</span> <span m='107610'>people</span> <span m='108210'>about</span> <span m='108640'>wastes</span> <span m='109450'>and</span> <span m='109720'>the</span> <span m='109790'>problem</span> <span m='110180'>of wastes</span> <span m='110470'>on</span> <span m='110560'>our</span> <span m='110650'>planet.</span> </p><p><span m='111210'>This</span> <span m='111500'>job</span> <span m='111910'>I</span> <span m='111990'>got</span> <span m='112260'>because</span> <span m='112540'>I</span> <span m='112590'>like</span> <span m='112900'>to go to</span> <span m='112970'>festivals.</span> <span m='113600'>And</span> <span m='113720'>I</span> <span m='113760'>volunteered</span> <span m='114280'>at</span> <span m='114370'>a</span> <span m='114410'>festival,</span> <span m='115390'>about</span> <span m='115900'>a</span> <span m='115970'>year</span> <span m='116170'>and</span> <span m='116240'>a</span> <span m='116260'>half</span> <span m='116490'>ago.</span> <span m='117220'>And</span> <span m='117980'>I</span> <span m='118030'>just</span> <span m='118280'>coincidentally-</span> <span m='119550'>I</span> <span m='119680'>had</span> <span m='119840'>moved</span> <span m='120090'>up</span> <span m='120220'>to</span> <span m='120310'>the</span> <span m='120390'>Bay</span> <span m='120580'>area</span> <span m='121080'>about</span> <span m='121380'>two</span> <span m='121530'>months</span> <span m='121810'>after</span> <span m='122070'>I</span> <span m='122120'>volunteered</span> <span m='122560'>at</span> <span m='122630'>that</span> <span m='122750'>festival.</span> </p><p><span m='123720'>I</span> <span m='123770'>ran</span> <span m='124000'>into</span> <span m='124230'>a</span> <span m='124330'>guy</span> <span m='125190'>who</span> <span m='125870'>was</span> <span m='126030'>my</span> <span m='126160'>shift</span> <span m='126470'>leader,</span> <span m='126920'>and</span> <span m='127260'>he</span> <span m='127390'>offered</span> <span m='127580'>me</span> <span m='127690'>a</span> <span m='127730'>job,</span> <span m='128020'>because</span> <span m='128220'>he</span> <span m='128310'>remembered</span> <span m='128650'>me.</span> <span m='129289'>And</span> <span m='129500'>so I've been</span> <span m='129800'>working with</span> <span m='130139'>him</span> <span m='130259'>ever</span> <span m='130440'>since.</span> <span m='131020'>And</span> <span m='131290'>it's</span> <span m='131440'>just</span> <span m='131600'>really</span> <span m='131840'>cool,</span> <span m='132110'>because</span> <span m='132480'>I</span> <span m='132550'>get</span> <span m='132780'>to</span> <span m='132890'>go</span> <span m='133720'>to all these</span> <span m='134100'>music</span> <span m='134390'>festivals</span> <span m='134810'>that</span> <span m='134950'>I</span> <span m='135000'>like</span> <span m='135210'>going</span> <span m='135450'>to,</span> <span m='135700'>for free.</span> </p><p><span m='136740'>I</span> <span m='136810'>get</span> <span m='136950'>to</span> <span m='136990'>play</span> <span m='137800'>and</span> <span m='138040'>get</span> <span m='138220'>paid.</span> <span m='139110'>And</span> <span m='139560'>it's</span> <span m='139650'>just a</span> <span m='139830'>really</span> <span m='140050'>cool job.</span> <span m='140500'>I</span> <span m='140540'>really</span> <span m='140770'>like</span> <span m='140960'>the</span> <span m='141050'>work.</span> <span m='141360'>It's</span> <span m='141580'>environmental</span> <span m='142250'>in</span> <span m='142320'>nature,</span> <span m='143230'>it</span> <span m='143570'>pays</span> <span m='143860'>well,</span> <span m='144490'>it's</span> <span m='144660'>very</span> <span m='144840'>flexible.</span> </p><p><span m='145540'>I'm</span> <span m='145700'>also</span> <span m='145900'>a</span> <span m='145980'>student,</span> <span m='146550'>so</span> <span m='146630'>having</span> <span m='146870'>this</span> <span m='147040'>part</span> <span m='147200'>time,</span> <span m='148040'>very</span> <span m='148420'>flexible</span> <span m='148850'>schedule,</span> <span m='149470'>really</span> <span m='149700'>works</span> <span m='149980'>for</span> <span m='150060'>me.</span> <span m='150280'>And</span> <span m='150530'>I</span> <span m='150600'>just</span> <span m='150980'>enjoy</span> <span m='151380'>the</span> <span m='151490'>work</span> <span m='151740'>quite a bit.</span> </p><p><span m='152690'>I</span> <span m='152880'>would</span> <span m='153340'>say</span> <span m='154280'>you</span> <span m='154510'>have</span> <span m='154720'>to</span> <span m='154910'>have</span> <span m='155080'>a</span> <span m='155150'>passion</span> <span m='155730'>for</span> <span m='156430'>wastes.</span> <span m='157480'>You</span> <span m='157530'>really have to like</span> <span m='157990'>waste.</span> <span m='158270'>A</span> <span m='158320'>lot</span> <span m='158460'>of</span> <span m='158510'>people,</span> <span m='159360'>trash</span> <span m='159675'>freaks them</span> <span m='159990'>out.</span> <span m='160790'>I've</span> <span m='160990'>gotten</span> <span m='161260'>over</span> <span m='161400'>that.</span> </p><p><span m='162190'>For me,</span> <span m='162750'>I</span> <span m='163780'>like</span> <span m='163950'>to</span> <span m='164030'>think</span> <span m='164210'>about</span> <span m='164590'>how</span> <span m='164810'>much</span> <span m='165590'>I've</span> <span m='166570'>personally</span> <span m='166970'>diverted</span> <span m='167360'>from</span> <span m='167460'>going</span> <span m='167690'>in</span> <span m='167750'>the</span> <span m='167830'>landfills.</span> <span m='168290'>So</span> <span m='169180'>stuff</span> <span m='169490'>that</span> <span m='169660'>could</span> <span m='169940'>otherwise</span> <span m='170370'>be</span> <span m='170480'>composted</span> <span m='171050'>or</span> <span m='171160'>recycled.</span> <span m='172320'>I</span> <span m='172550'>have</span> <span m='172840'>probably</span> <span m='173170'>diverted,</span> <span m='173590'>at</span> <span m='173710'>this</span> <span m='173880'>point,</span> <span m='174760'>maybe</span> <span m='175500'>5</span> <span m='175950'>to</span> <span m='176080'>10</span> <span m='176420'>tons</span> <span m='176870'>worth</span> <span m='177150'>myself</span> <span m='178332'>from</span> <span m='178680'>going</span> <span m='178920'>in</span> <span m='178990'>the</span> <span m='179050'>landfill.</span> </p><p><span m='179530'>So</span> <span m='180880'>I</span> <span m='181250'>like</span> <span m='181410'>to</span> <span m='181500'>think</span> <span m='181730'>in</span> <span m='183900'>terms</span> <span m='184210'>of</span> <span m='184320'>how</span> <span m='184480'>much</span> <span m='184750'>I've</span> <span m='184970'>contributed</span> <span m='185570'>to</span> <span m='187050'>bettering</span> <span m='187660'>the</span> <span m='187870'>environment.</span> <span m='188500'>Bettering</span> <span m='189010'>the</span> <span m='189160'>global</span> <span m='190420'>consciousness.</span> <span m='191070'>By</span> <span m='191600'>educating</span> <span m='192110'>people</span> <span m='192670'>what</span> <span m='192970'>goes</span> <span m='193190'>where.</span> <span m='193420'>Because</span> <span m='194210'>we</span> <span m='194400'>live</span> <span m='194620'>in</span> <span m='194730'>a</span> <span m='194850'>single</span> <span m='195740'>use,</span> <span m='196290'>disposable,</span> <span m='197700'>culture.</span> <span m='198540'>Where</span> <span m='198920'>people</span> <span m='199320'>just</span> <span m='199700'>don't</span> <span m='199980'>think</span> <span m='200150'>about</span> <span m='200370'>what</span> <span m='200470'>happens</span> <span m='200850'>to</span> <span m='201000'>something</span> <span m='201320'>after</span> <span m='201610'>they</span> <span m='201750'>throw</span> <span m='202580'>a</span> <span m='202670'>piece</span> <span m='202950'>of</span> <span m='203230'>waste</span> <span m='203740'>into</span> <span m='204370'>a</span> <span m='204440'>waste bin.</span> <span m='204740'>So.</span> </p>","file":{"id":315622,"video_id":"2881744132001","name":"1535-Kirk-p-WasteDiversionTechnician","duration":206078,"thumbnail_url":null}});