Recycling and Reclamation Workers


Overview

Recycling and Reclamation Workers

Introduction

Recycling and reclamation workers sort recyclable materials such as aluminum, glass, and paper from households and businesses. They prepare these materials for recycling by identifying and removing hazardous substances. These workers may also dismantle components in recyclable appliances and other types of products. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were approximately 244,700 recycling and reclamation workers in the United States in 2018.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$29,800

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Employment Prospects

Good

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Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma


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Experience

One to two years experience


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Skills

Interpersonal


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Personality Traits

Conventional

Earnings

Salaries vary for recycling and reclamation workers depending upon their level of experience and the region in which the job is located. Positions in areas with a higher cost of living, such as California, Arizona, New York, and Washington, D.C., for example, tend to pay higher salaries to recycling and reclamation workers.

Recycling and reclamation workers earned median annual salaries ...

Work Environment

Recycling and reclamation workers typically work 40 or more hours per week. They may work inside in a warehouse and spend some time outdoors working in a recycling yard. The work can be hazardous, especially when working near recycling equipment and large, heavy bundles and bales of materials and products. They may encounter hazards such as glass shards, used syringes, or fumes from oil residue...

Outlook

Recycling and reclamation workers will continue to have employment opportunities in the coming years. Many states will continue to focus on meeting waste-reduction and recycling goals. In November 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that the percentage of municipal solid waste that is recycled has grown from about 10 percent in 1985 to slightly more than 35 percent in 2017. Follo...

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