Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted legislation and services. Information on this website may not reflect the current situation in Alberta. Please visit for up-to-date information about these impacts.

Municipal Recycling Waste Handler

Municipal recycling waste handlers sort recyclable waste materials. These can include glass, plastic, metal, and paper.

  • Avg. Salary $41,427.00
  • Avg. Wage $20.47
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
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) 
  • 2016 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 Mar 31, 2018

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

  • confirm that materials are of specified types and grades, and free of contaminants
  • load materials onto conveyor belts or into bulk loads for inspection
  • regulate the flow of paper into shredding or baling machines
  • operate forklifts to:
  • move bales of shredded or compressed materials into storage areas
  • load waste materials onto trucks or trailers
  • operate hydraulic lift jacks to move bales or loads of bulk paper
  • help members of the public unload recyclable material.

Some recycling waste handlers work in commercial bottle-return depots. They may also calculate payments and pay customers for returned materials.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Municipal recycling waste handlers often work shifts. They are on their feet most of time. They may need to lift items weighing up to 20 kilograms. They must follow safety measures. For instance, they must wear hard hats, gloves, safety shoes, and safety glasses. They must not wear loose clothing when working near conveyor belts.

The work setting can be dusty, dirty, and sometimes smelly. Depending on indoor space, some materials may be sorted outside.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Municipal recycling waste handlers need to possess:

  • the ability to work quickly and steadily for an entire shift
  • the ability to remain alert while doing routine, repetitive tasks
  • the ability to work on their own
  • the ability to manage work on fast conveyor belts without getting motion sick.

Some handlers deal with the public. They must be pleasant and courteous toward a wide variety of people.

Municipal recycling waste handlers should enjoy:

  • taking a step-by-step approach to their work
  • handling materials.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

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. Some handlers operate small front-end loaders and forklifts. They 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 Mar 31, 2018

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Recycling waste handlers may work for:

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

In large operations, with time on the job, handlers may become supervisors.

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 [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the J319: Other Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.4% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018

In general, earnings for municipal recycling waste handlers are much 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 $15.00 $21.00 $17.50 $17.35
Overall $15.36 $25.20 $20.47 $20.93
Top $17.00 $35.00 $24.05 $21.00

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
Public Administration
Wholesale Trade
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Retail 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 31, 2018. 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.

Was this page useful?