What does a Recycling and Reclamation Worker do?

Prepare and sort materials or products for recycling. Identify and remove hazardous substances. Dismantle components of products such as appliances.

Jobs Roles

  • 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.
  • Operate shredders to reclaim steel from discarded appliances.
  • Record logs of recycled materials or waste chemicals removed from products.
  • Sort metals to separate high-grade metals, such as copper, brass, and aluminum, for recycling.
  • Clean materials, such as metals, according to recycling requirements.
  • Clean recycling yard by sweeping, raking, picking up broken glass and loose paper debris, or moving barrels and bins.
  • Collect and sort recyclable construction materials, such as concrete, drywall, plastics, or wood, into containers.
  • Clean, inspect, or lubricate recyclable collection equipment or perform routine maintenance or minor repairs on recycling equipment, such as star gears, finger sorters, destoners, belts, and grinders.
  • Remove copper from circuit boards.
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