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Municipal Recycling Waste Handler

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

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) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Other Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities
2006 NOC : 9619

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group


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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

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
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

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.

Traits & Skills
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.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Other labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities
NOC code: 9619

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Mar 16, 2022 and May 27, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Sort, pack, crate and package materials and products
Perform other labouring and elemental activities
Clean machines and immediate work areas
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Check and weigh materials and products
Assist machine operators, assemblers and other workers
Health benefits: Health care plan
Health benefits: Dental plan
Personal Suitability: Team player
Personal Suitability: Dependability
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Minimum Education Varies

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.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018
  • Certification Not Regulated

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 9619: Other labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 20 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Other labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities

2016 NOC : 9619
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 9619 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

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.

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