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Recyclable Materials Sorter

Separate glass, paper, or plastic to keep processing machines from jamming.

What does a Recyclable Materials Sorter do?

As anyone who’s washed a red sock with a load of whites knows, there are just some things in life that need to be sorted. Recycling is a lot like doing the laundry-it can’t all be put in at once if you want to get good results. As a Recyclable Materials Sorter, you group everything into three categories: glass, paper, and plastic.

Though it might seem pretty black and white, this type of division is necessary for recycling. Each category is dealt with a different way when it’s recycled, and it wouldn’t really work to have plastic bottles in with stacks of newspaper. Mixing recyclables can jam or break machines, or just cause a big, unusable mess of broken-down products.

Your job as a Recyclable Materials Sorter starts when people drop off recyclables at the recycling plant. You break open the bags or boxes they’ve brought, and begin to move everything into the proper area.

While you go through the stuff, you look for dangerous objects, like metal, that can either hurt a person or wreck the machine. These pieces get tossed in the trash, and everything else gets ready to go through the recycling machine. As the Sorter, you might also be in charge of operating the machine, or you might just spend your days moving objects where they need to go.

Recyclable Materials Sorters can find this job at college campuses, city recycling plants, or even in large apartment buildings.