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Municipal Recycling Waste Handler

Municipal recycling waste handlers sort recyclable domestic and commercial waste materials such as glass, plastic, metal and paper.

  • Avg. Salary $42,578.00
  • Avg. Wage $21.19
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 1,700
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Materials Handler, Recycling Waste Handler, Waste Handler

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Other Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities (9619) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Other Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities (J319) 
  • 2011 NOC: Other labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities (9619) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Municipal Recycling Waste Handler is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Other Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities

Interest in comparing information to clean work areas and equipment


Interest in handling to transport raw materials, finished products and equipment throughout plant manually and using powered equipment


Interest in checking and weighing materials and products

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Dec 16, 2016

Municipal recycling waste handlers work at a depot or warehouse where they sort bulk loads of waste paper, glass materials or other recyclable waste. Duties vary depending on the employer but, in general, handlers:

  • verify that waste material is of a specified type and grade and is free of contaminants
  • load waste materials onto conveyor belts or into bulk loads which can be inspected
  • operate and regulate the flow of paper into shredding or baling machines
  • operate forklifts to move bales of shredded or compressed materials into storage areas or to load waste materials onto trucks or trailers
  • assist the general public in unloading recyclable material
  • operate hydraulic lift jacks to move bales or loads of bulk paper.

Workers in municipal recycling depots such as bottle return operations also may:

  • direct and assist people unloading recyclable material
  • calculate payments and pay customers for returned materials.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Municipal recycling waste handlers often work shifts. They are on their feet most of their working hours and may be required to lift items weighing up to 20 kilograms. They must observe safety precautions such as wearing hard hats, gloves, safety shoes and safety glasses, and not wear loose clothing when working near conveyor belts.

The working environment can be dusty, dirty and sometimes smelly. Some materials may be sorted outside due to storage constraints.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Municipal recycling waste handlers need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to work steadily and quickly for an entire shift
  • the ability to perform routine, repetitive tasks but still remain alert
  • the ability to work independently.

Those who deal with the public also must be able to deal pleasantly and courteously with a wide variety of people.

Municipal recycling waste handlers should enjoy taking a methodical approach to their work and handling materials.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

There are no formal education requirements for recycling waste handlers. However, a high school diploma is a definite asset for advancement.

Municipal recycling waste handlers are trained on the job. Those who operate small front-end loaders and forklifts must qualify for the required certification.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Recycling waste handlers may work for:

  • municipalities (cities and towns)
  • not-for-profit recycling organizations
  • privately owned recycling collection services.

In large operations, experienced recycling waste handlers may advance to supervisory positions.

Municipal recycling waste handlers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 9619: Other labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities. In Alberta, 77% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 2,800 Albertans are employed in the Other labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.4% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 39 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As municipal recycling waste handlers form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for municipal recycling waste handlers.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 16, 2016

Salary ranges for municipal recycling waste handlers are generally considerably lower than these figures suggest.

Other labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $12.20 $22.10 $17.40 $17.00
Overall $12.20 $29.62 $21.19 $20.01
Top $13.46 $37.87 $26.53 $24.50

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Retail Trade
Wholesale Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training

Updated Mar 20, 2014. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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