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Recycling & Reclamation Workers

Also called: Equipment Operator, Sort Line Worker, Sorter, Transfer Station Operator

What they do:
Prepare and sort materials or products for recycling. Identify and remove hazardous substances. Dismantle components of products such as appliances.
On the job, you would:
  • Sort materials, such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics, into appropriate containers for recycling.
  • Clean recycling yard by sweeping, raking, picking up broken glass and loose paper debris, or moving barrels and bins.
  • Operate forklifts, pallet jacks, power lifts, or front-end loaders to load bales, bundles, or other heavy items onto trucks for shipping to smelters or other recycled materials processing facilities.


Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
  • manufacture and distribution of products
Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
  • management
  • customer service
Safety and Government
  • public safety and security


Basic Skills
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


Hand and Finger Use
  • hold or move items with your hands
  • keep your arm or hand steady
Controlled Movement
  • quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
  • use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Dependability
  • Integrity
  • Self Control
  • Attention to Detail
  • Cooperation
  • Adaptability/Flexibility


You might use software like this on the job:

Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel
Office suite software
  • Microsoft Office software
Word processing software
  • Microsoft Word


Education: (rated 2 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
associate's degree
usually needed

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Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about recycling and reclamation workers.