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Recycling and Reclamation Worker

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Life As a Recycling and Reclamation Worker

Recycling & Reclamation Worker Example Prepare and sort materials or products for recycling. Identify and remove hazardous substances. Dismantle components of products such as appliances.

Life As a Recycling & Reclamation Worker: What Do They Do?

  • Operate automated refuse or manual recycling collection vehicles.
  • Sort metals to separate high-grade metals, such as copper, brass, and aluminum, for recycling.
  • Operate shredders to reclaim steel from discarded appliances.
  • Sort materials, such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics, into appropriate containers for recycling.
  • Collect and sort recyclable construction materials, such as concrete, drywall, plastics, or wood, into containers.
  • Operate processing equipment, such as fiber-sorters and grinders, to sort, crush, or grind recyclable materials.

Qualities of a Recycling & Reclamation Worker

Below is a list of the skills most Recycling and Reclamation Workers say are important on the job.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Other Recycling & Reclamation Worker Job Titles

  • Auto Dismantler
  • Transfer Operator
  • Deconstruction and Decontamination Waste Operations Specialist
  • Recycling Assistant
  • Forklift Driver (Team Lead Driver) Recycling and Waste Dock

What Kind of Recycling & Reclamation Worker Job Opportunities Are There?

In the United States, there were 263,500 jobs for Recycling and Reclamation Worker in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.4% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 11,600 new jobs for Recycling and Reclamation Worker by 2026. There will be an estimated 31,400 positions for Recycling & Reclamation Worker per year.


The states with the most job growth for Recycling & Reclamation Worker are Nevada, Florida, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Delaware, Maine, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Recycling and Reclamation Workers Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Recycling and Reclamation Workers ranges between about $20,140 and $55,910 a year.


Recycling and Reclamation Workers who work in Wyoming, Alaska, or New Mexico, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Recycling and Reclamation Workers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $28,700
Alaska $56,120
Arizona $37,420
Arkansas $30,450
California $34,400
Colorado $35,420
Connecticut $36,610
District of Columbia $55,860
Florida $28,220
Georgia $30,030
Hawaii $30,260
Idaho $29,640
Illinois $36,920
Indiana $37,710
Iowa $43,290
Kansas $28,950
Kentucky $28,520
Louisiana $38,140
Maine $34,510
Maryland $36,850
Massachusetts $37,970
Michigan $38,980
Minnesota $37,930
Mississippi $28,030
Missouri $31,610
Montana $33,320
Nebraska $27,990
Nevada $36,910
New Hampshire $34,340
New Jersey $33,160
New Mexico $50,040
New York $36,960
North Carolina $32,350
North Dakota $34,200
Ohio $35,750
Oklahoma $31,400
Oregon $34,610
Pennsylvania $39,650
Rhode Island $36,540
South Carolina $35,660
South Dakota $46,940
Tennessee $31,000
Texas $33,240
Utah $30,150
Vermont $32,590
Virginia $30,080
Washington $35,250
West Virginia $29,570
Wisconsin $34,000
Wyoming $54,480

Tools & Technologies Used by Recycling and Reclamation Workers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Recycling and Reclamation Workers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Work scheduling software

Becoming a Recycling & Reclamation Worker

Are there Recycling and Reclamation Workers education requirements?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Recycling and Reclamation Workers?


The table below shows the approximate number of Recycling and Reclamation Workers employed by various industries.



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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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