A garbage collector made an average of $35,230 per year in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The salary of a garbage collector often depends on the location where he works and how long he has been on the job.
In 2012, the 10 percent of garbage collectors who were most highly paid earned salaries of $57,760 per year, while the lowest-paid 10 percent of garbage collectors earned $18,770 per year. Two of the best-paying cities for garbage collectors are New York City and Las Vegas. On average, garbage collectors have higher salaries than security guards, groundskeepers or janitors.