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Industries & Professions /
Waste management is an enormous industry encompassing workers who handle waste in its various forms and stages of treatment or disposal. Waste management workers, from refuse collectors who cover every street across the nation to scientists in labs who devise better ways to reduce pollution, work toward a common goal: preserving human health and the environment. The field of waste management can be divided several different ways. Workers may work with hazardous waste or nonhazardous waste; they may be employed in the private sector or the public sector. Waste management careers may focus on air, water, or soil concerns; waste produced by industries; or government agency regulation of such industries. The choices for those who are interested in the field are varied, as are the requirements for various types of jobs. Employment opportunities exist with private waste-handling firms like the giant Waste Management, Inc. (WMI) and with smaller, independent collectors, haulers, and processors. There are jobs on in-house staffs of generators of high volumes of waste including chemical, food, and metals manufacturers. Other employers include state and regional EPA authorities, local municipal authorities, engineering consulting firms, and emergency response companies.