The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies garbage men as refuse and recyclable material collectors. These workers pick up trash and recyclable items and take them by trucks to dumps, landfills and recycling centers. The bureau predicts 19 percent employment growth in this occupation from 2008 to 2018. The average salary of garbage men in Maryland is higher than the national average.
Of the estimated 128,940 refuse and recyclable collectors working in the United States in 2009, about 2,830 were employed in Maryland, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their average salary was $17.48 per hour, or $36,360 per year. That was about 7 percent higher than the national average for this occupation, which was $16.23 per hour, or $33,760. Nationwide, most refuse and recyclable material collectors work for local governments, earning an average of $16.39 per hour, and for waste collection services, at $15.98 per hour.
The middle 50 percent of refuse and recyclable collectors in Maryland were making $12.86 to $19.43 per hour in 2009, translating to $26,760 to $40,410 per year. The bottom 10 percent had yearly salaries of $23,000 and below, and the top 10 percent were making at least $51,810 per year. The nationwide middle 50-percent range for these workers was $24,270 to 40,810 per year.
The highest average pay for garbage men in Maryland in 2009 was in the Baltimore-Towson metro area, at $17.85 per hour, or $37,130 per year. The average wage for these workers was $13.56 per hour in the Hagerstown-Martinsburg area, $14.42 in the Cumberland area, $15.40 in Salisbury, and $16.56 in the Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg metropolitan region.
Garbage and recyclable collectors in several other states had average salaries similar to that in Maryland, between $17 and $18 per hour. Such states included Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey and Rhode Island. The average pay for refuse and recyclable collectors was highest in New York state, at $23.43 per hour, and lowest in West Virginia, at $10.61 per hour.