Recycling and Reclamation Workers

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:

  • Cut discarded products, such as appliances and automobiles, into small pieces using saws, blow torches, or other hand or power tools.
  • Extract chemicals from discarded appliances, such as air conditioners or refrigerators, using specialized machinery, such as refrigerant recovery equipment.
  • Sort materials, such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics, into appropriate containers for recycling.
  • Collect recyclable materials from curbside for delivery to designated facilities.
  • Deposit recoverable materials into chutes or place materials on conveyor belts.
  • Dismantle wrecked vehicles by removing parts and labeling and sorting parts into containers.
  • Operate automated refuse or manual recycling collection vehicles.
  • Operate balers to compress recyclable materials into bundles or bales.
  • 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.
  • Operate processing equipment, such as fiber-sorters and grinders, to sort, crush, or grind recyclable materials.




Work Activities


Work Styles