When you think about a career in waste management, the idea that tend to seep into one’s mind is that of garbage collectors picking up the trash that we leave outside our door. However, a career in waste management has the potential to lead to a rewarding and fulfilling career, one that you may have never dreamed of. A career in waste management is an opportunity to work towards a better planet, and so a better future. 

As the European Union is positioning itself as a global climate leader, encouraging its Member States to embrace the idea of a circular economy by investing in circular technologies that reuse resources, green jobs are set to become the future.  Effective waste management, as part of a circular economy approach, has the potential to boost economic activity, generate income and create jobs. 

According to Eurostat estimates, between 2000 and 2017, employment and gross value added in EU-27 grew faster in the environmental economy than in the overall economy. Employment alone increased from 3.1 million full-time equivalents in 2000 to 4.2 million full-time equivalents in 2017. [Source: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/pdfscache/41606.pdf]

So, if you are passionate about the environment and want to make a positive environmental impact in your professional life, there are many green jobs available including in the waste management sector, many that may have not yet crossed your mind. Here are some jobs that might be your ideal fit: 

A shoutout to all great engineers

There are a variety of areas where engineers are required from mechanical to plant to building services to fire engineers. 

With an unequalled investment in the waste management sector in Malta consisting of the design, installation and commissioning of four new waste management plants, engineers will have a field day working alongside world-renowned firms in waste management.  A waste-to-energy facility, a material recovery facility, an organic processing plant and a thermal treatment facility will drive Malta towards a circular economy approach as waste will be processed in the most sustainable and resource-efficient way possible, turning it into precious resources. 

Undoubtedly, the sector is waiting for more engineers to join and come up with numerous solutions and ways in which we can better manage our waste. 

Science Geeks needed

The specialist knowledge of environmental scientists is indispensable for the waste management sector. Scientists get to do all this cool stuff such as analyse the waste composition and reactivity, conduct chemical analysis, and detect halogenated substances. Scientists don’t get to spend all their time in offices or laboratories but will also have the opportunity to go onsite to perform maintenance of emission instruments, as well as test and calibrate dosing systems. The work is varied and requires skilled scientists to work out the perfect formula. 

Environmental gurus wanted

Environmental managers are required to make sure companies are complying with their environmental requirements when it comes to the management and processing of waste. As the world focus turns to a green recovery where cleaner air and water quality together with enhanced biodiversity protection are to take centre stage with the ultimate goal of cutting CO2 emissions while boosting economic activity and create jobs, the work of environmental managers becomes crucial.  

They are needed to keep companies in check and make sure they do not fall short in their commitments as the world moves into a low-carbon era. 

All creative architects out there 

Perhaps, you were not expecting this one. But yes, architects also have an important role to play when it comes to waste management. 

Old and unregulated landfills present a multitude of problems for the environment. The formation of leachates, gas emissions, soil contamination, air and water pollution, and bad odours are just few of these problems. Architects can help remedy these problems, and better yet, can create new opportunities. Their wisdom is needed to safely rehabilitate these landfills, integrate them with the natural surroundings, and transform them into amenities for local communities. One such ongoing project is the old landfill in Wied Fulija, Żurrieq where 6.5 hectares of landfill are being restored into a green area with the planting of indigenous plant species and a paved pathway for the public. 

Thus, architects are key in transforming these uninhabited and forbidden public spaces into community beacons, creating value in otherwise bleak environments, and injecting them with a sense of community and purpose. 

Contrary to the popular belief, the waste management industry covers many disciplines, and involves a variety of professions requiring different skill sets. So, if you’re seeking an opportunity to make a difference or work for an employer who wants to make the world a better place, then a career in waste management may be the right choice for you. 

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