Reuse, reduce, recycle. recycling workers and coordinators work to reduce waste and keep pollution out of earth’s air, water, and ground. Recycling and reclamation workers collect recyclable materials from curbside for delivery to recycling facilities. They prepare and sort materials such as metals, glass, paper, and plastics for recycling, load them onto conveyors, and load bundles onto trucks using forklifts. Some workers sort construction materials, and separate valuable metals for recycling. They may also disassemble and cut up appliances and cars with a blowtorch, and safely dispose of hazardous substances. Recycling coordinators supervise curbside and drop-off recycling programs, either for cities or private companies. They make sure that recyclable goods are moved from homes and businesses to recycling centers so that they can be reused. They also keep detailed records to track the benefits of recycling programs. Recycling coordinators also hire and train staff, and promote recycling efforts in their communities. They may negotiate to sell recyclable goods, such as paper or aluminum, to brokers and firms to reuse. Most workers in these roles need a high school diploma or equivalent. Most recycling coordinators have supervisory or management experience, and some also have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
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
Safety and Government
public safety and security
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
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
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:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Office suite software
Microsoft Office software
Word processing software
high school diploma/GED or associate's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.