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Green Occupation:
51-9199.01 - Recycling and Reclamation Workers

Green occupations will likely change as a result of the green economy. Green economy activities and technologies are increasing the demand for occupations, shaping the work and worker requirements needed for occupational performance, or generating new and emerging occupations.

This is a Green New & Emerging occupation — the impact of green economy activities and technologies is sufficient to create the need for unique work and worker requirements, which results in the generation of new occupations.

Recycling and reclamation workers work in the following green economy sectors:

  • Recycling and Waste Reduction — This sector covers activities related to solid waste and wastewater management, treatment, and reduction, as well as processing recyclable materials.

They perform these tasks important to the green economy:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Collect and sort recyclable construction materials, such as concrete, drywall, plastics, or wood, into containers.
  • Collect recyclable materials from curbside for delivery to designated facilities.
  • Cut discarded products, such as appliances and automobiles, into small pieces using saws, blow torches, or other hand or power tools.
  • Deposit recoverable materials into chutes or place materials on conveyor belts.
  • Dismantle wrecked vehicles by removing parts and labeling and sorting parts into containers.
  • Extract chemicals from discarded appliances, such as air conditioners or refrigerators, using specialized machinery, such as refrigerant recovery equipment.
  • 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.
  • Remove copper from circuit boards.
  • Sort materials, such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics, into appropriate containers for recycling.
  • Sort metals to separate high-grade metals, such as copper, brass, and aluminum, for recycling.