Sorting Recycling

In many places, including Exeter and Plymouth, recycling is picked up all together in a twin bin system. This is quite common in urban areas as it saves time picking up recycling and rubbish in busy urban streets. It is then taken to a place called a Materials Recycling Facility or MRF where it is sorted by a combination of machines and hand picking. You can see more about how MRFs work in our collection of videos on our Youtube channel. There are lots of different jobs in places like this that involve sorting recycling.

Job skills required:

  • An ability to work as part of a team – good teamwork is needed to get the job done.
  • Knowledge of the rules and regulations around waste – It’s important to know what rules affect the recycling that is collected. The recycling industry is an international market so good record keeping is needed so you know where the recycling is going to be processed into new materials.
  • A strong constitution – there’s no getting away from the fact that rubbish can be smelly! You can’t go round all day holding your nose!
  • An ability to follow rules – health and safety is really important in this job. You don’t want to be the person who cuts their hand on a broken bottle because you haven’t put it in the right place.
  • An ability to mend and operate machinery – mechanics and electricians are needed to keep the machinery in tip-top condition and solve any issues if something goes wrong.
Picture of staff working to sort recycling at a Materials Recycling Facility in New Zealand
Picture of people working in a materials recycling facility
Picture of staff at Exeter City Council's Materials Recycling Facility