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Ellen Da Costa - Queenstown Recycling Operator


Ellen has been with Waste Management for two years as a recycling operator at our Queenstown MRF (Materials Recovery Facility). In this role, Ellen gets to see first hand how the public recycles. She says you can certainly see most people try to do the right thing but educating the public on best practice recycling is still a major challenge.

We asked her some questions about being part of the Waste Management team.

What do you love about your job?

I really enjoy this role as it has different tasks and lots of variety. I love working with the community to doing what’s right and sustainable for everyone. I also love working with dedicated people who make it a pleasure coming to work.

What are some of the challenges?

As much as I enjoy what I do, the Queenstown winters are freezing and that can make the days that much harder, especially compared to my hometown in Brazil. We also have challenges within the MRF with some of the contamination that we see coming through. When you are working on the line it is clear that most people try to do the right thing, although educating the public in the recycling space can be difficult.

What would you like everyone to know about Waste Management?

Waste Management is a very large company, but there is a real dedication to people and providing recognition, training and upskilling for each employee.

Every employee has a voice and the opportunity to grow, and everyone is recognised for the work they do and effort they put in. It means everyone has an equal opportunity – regardless of their gender. It’s important to me that women are welcomed into operational roles.