Waste and recycling workers in the U.S. collect and process approximately 254 million tons of material per year. The job, which is dubbed one of the most dangerous in the U.S., exposes workers to different weather elements, vehicle exhaust fumes, noise, pathogens, toxins and chemicals from the waste and much more.
While some people may not find the job appealing, those in the industry are passionate about the industry and proud of the hard work that they do to make the world a cleaner place.
To paint a picture of what these workers earn in each state, AOL.com has broken down data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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The United States generates 254 million tons of trash every year; without regular removal we’d all be drowning in garbage.
Doing that picking up is both dirty and dangerous. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fatal injury rate in this business is 33 per 100,000, which is higher than those of miners, construction workers and cops.
Garbage collectors are plagued by musculoskeletal injuries, eye injuries, fractured limbs and animal bites, experts say. They are also exposed to pathogens, toxins and chemicals from the waste and its decomposition as well as vehicle exhaust fumes, noise, extreme temperatures and ultraviolet radiation, according to the journal Occupational Medicine.