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Recycling Coordinator

Head up a recycling program for a community, city, or organization.

What does a Recycling Coordinator do?

To the ideal Recycling Coordinator, the three R’s aren’t “reading, writing, and arithmetic” but rather “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” In this job, you start, organize, advertise, and generally maintain recycling programs in your local community or city.

In recent years, recycling has become a big deal, which is awesome for you, the Recycling Coordinator, because it means cities, towns, schools, and businesses all need someone to coordinate their recycling programs. Though the size of the program will dictate exactly what you’re going to do, you should assume that in this job, you do it all. You arrange pickup services, meaning you drop off recycling bins, hire Drivers, create schedules, find new customers, or deal with any issues that might arise. The Recycling Coordinator then will sell the recycled stuff—like bulk paper, glass, and plastic—that you pick up. You do this by contacting different companies, like paper mills or glass plants, along with private companies or firms, to see if they want to buy the goods.

Good communication skills are important when you interact with these companies. But they also come in handy with another big part of your job: outreach. You talk with different community groups—from schools to local businesses—to convince people of all ages to recycle. You explain what should go into different bins, and why it’s important to follow the three R’s. For bigger programs, you might do more administrative work, like creating budgets, training new employees, and writing long-term growth plans.