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Recycling Workers perform routine tasks in recycling facilities, such as sorting, packing and storing plastics, glass, paper, metals and other recyclable materials which have been collected from household, commercial and industrial premises in preparation for use in creating new products.


  • dismantles products (such as cars and appliances) and separates their components
  • identifies and removes hazardous substances (including chemicals from discarded appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators)
  • sorts materials, such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics, into appropriate containers for cleaning, recycling, processing, storing, shipping or grading
  • cleans materials (such as metals) according to recycling requirements and prepares them for production (such as cutting in preparation for fabrication or processing)
  • operates equipment, such as forklifts, automated refuse and manual recycling collection vehicles, to move materials for processing
  • deposits recoverable materials into chutes or places materials on conveyor belts
  • maintains a clean work area to ensure workplace safety
  • cleans, disassembles, repairs and maintains the recycling equipment so that it works properly
  • cuts discarded products (such as appliances and automobiles) into small pieces using saws, blow torches and other hand or power tools, for easier disposal
  • may collect recyclable materials from curb sides for delivery to designated facilities.


  • physically demanding
  • working outdoors.

To become a Recycling Worker

  • You can work as a Recycling Worker without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided.

Skills employers are looking for

  • Sorting

  • Forklift Operation

  • Communication Skills

  • Customer Service

  • Front End Loader Operation

  • Recyclable Material Sorting

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