Matt Michel

To start the day, I usually walk around the site to check that the electrics are on for the various machines we’ll be working with. The main bulk of my day is spent collecting different electrical appliances like TVs, monitors, computers and oil heaters. We strip the TVs and monitors of their metals and prepare them for shipping by stacking them onto pallet boards and wrapping them to ensure they are safe to handle and ship to England where they will be recycled.

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
Communication – to get our jobs done safely and effciently.
Time management – for prioritising jobs and work with time constraints.
Team work – working well with others in a pressured environment.

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
I recently completed my degree in PE and Outdoor Education and I have always seen myself working outdoors. This is my first step into employment and so far so good; I get to work outdoors and I learn a lot each day.

What do you love most about working in your career area?
Being outside on a day to day basis and getting to work with machines and different equipment to help recycling of different materials. I never even thought about recycling before I started working here.

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
Be prepared to be outside whatever the weather. The site at La Collette is exposed to all weathers and while we get the best of it, we get the worst of it too!

What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
I completed on site training so that I can use the machines correctly and safely. I completed asbestos awareness training to spot asbestos- containing materials within the waste items we receive. I also did manual handling training because the job is very physical and I do a lot of lifting. We read all the operational procedures and risk assessments before completing manual or operational tasks, so there’s lots of on-going learning.

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
The team are great! We all get along and work hard to help one another get the job done. Even when there’s loads to do, everyone is still smiling. I like knowing that the work we do supports reuse and recycling so I get a lot of satisfaction from being able to make a difference in that area with my work.

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