What Do Recycling and Reclamation Workers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Job Description

Job Description

Recycling and Reclamation Workers prepare and sort materials or products for recycling. Identify and remove hazardous substances. Dismantle components of products such as appliances. They also operate shredders to reclaim steel from discarded appliances.

Other tasks include:

  • Collect and sort recyclable construction materials, such as concrete, drywall, plastics, or wood, into containers.
  • Sort materials, such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics, into appropriate containers for recycling.
  • Extract chemicals from discarded appliances, such as air conditioners or refrigerators, using specialized machinery, such as refrigerant recovery equipment.
  • Deposit recoverable materials into chutes or place materials on conveyor belts.
  • Clean recycling yard by sweeping, raking, picking up broken glass and loose paper debris, or moving barrels and bins.
  • Operate balers to compress recyclable materials into bundles or bales.

We asked Recycling and Reclamation Workers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

61%

How meaningful is this job

46%


61% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 46% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Recycling and Reclamation Workers remove copper from circuit boards. They collect recyclable materials from curbside for delivery to designated facilities.

A typical day for a Recycling and Reclamation Worker will also include:

  • Sort materials, such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics, into appropriate containers for recycling.
  • Record logs of recycled materials or waste chemicals removed from products.
  • Collect and sort recyclable construction materials, such as concrete, drywall, plastics, or wood, into containers.
  • Clean recycling yard by sweeping, raking, picking up broken glass and loose paper debris, or moving barrels and bins.
  • Cut discarded products, such as appliances and automobiles, into small pieces using saws, blow torches, or other hand or power tools.

We asked some Recycling and Reclamation Workers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 23% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 37% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 47% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 12% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 9% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 41% said yes


Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Recycling and Reclamation Workers also dismantle wrecked vehicles by removing parts and labeling and sorting parts into containers. They may also clean materials, such as metals, according to recycling requirements.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Recycling and Reclamation Workers 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. They might also Cut discarded products, such as appliances and automobiles, into small pieces using saws, blow torches, or other hand or power tools.

In addition, they Collect and sort recyclable construction materials, such as concrete, drywall, plastics, or wood, into containers.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Extract chemicals from discarded appliances, such as air conditioners or refrigerators, using specialized machinery, such as refrigerant recovery equipment.

To some Recycling and Reclamation Workers, it is also their responsibility to Clean recycling yard by sweeping, raking, picking up broken glass and loose paper debris, or moving barrels and bins.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Recycling and Reclamation Worker, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Recycling and Reclamation Workers work in an office-style work environment?

Never
69%


Once a week
10%


Do Recycling and Reclamation Workers work outdoors?

Every day
70%


Once a week
11%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Organizers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



Learn more about Recycling and Reclamation Workers

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Related to Recycling and Reclamation Workers Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/green/environmental_remediation/remediation.htm
http://www.bls.gov/green/water_conservation/water_conservation.pdf



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