More than 116,000 sanitation workers collect 250 million tons of trash annually, according to a recent Mental Floss estimate. Statistics from the US Bureau of Labor Stats and Census in 2010 indicate that women comprised only 1% of that work force. Surveys conducted last year indicate that there’s been little progress in the five-year interim—about 99% of garbage collectors in this country are still men.
Reasons for the low percentage of females in the industry can only be speculated. It could be related to the fact that trash collecting routinely appears on lists of the most dangerous jobs in America, with approximately 30 fatalities per 100,000 workers annually.