How to Become a Recycling Coordinator

How to Become a Recycling Coordinator: Career Guide

To become a recycling coordinator, your first step is to determine if this career is right for you.


If you’re interested in a green career that helps your organization, and those within it, maintain an awareness of the importance of recycling, and a career that contributes to waste reduction on a large corporate scale, then a career as a recycling coordinator may be well suited for you.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to succeed in a career as a recycling coordinator. We've also included helpful information for a recycling coordinator career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Recycling Coordinator

Typically, recycling coordinators have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as environmental science or business.


However, with enough work experience in a related field, it is possible to get a job as a recycling coordinator without post-secondary education. Most recycling coordinator positions require some related work experience, regardless of educational requirements.




Recycling Coordinator Job Description

The recycling coordinator is responsible for devising the most effective and efficient way of delivering recycling materials to recycling plants on behalf of their organization or institution. They must also create marketing and promotional campaigns to encourage employees to recycle.



Recycling Coordinator Job Duties

• Identify company-wide waste reduction and recycling opportunities

• Research loan and grant opportunities and complete application process for any that are applicable

• Ensure their employer complies with relevant local ordinances

• Develop incentives for employees who demonstrate initiative for the recycling program

• May develop and manage recycling program budget

• Confer with department managers to develop company-wide recycled product purchasing policies

• Contact vendors for supply and equipment pricing

• Monitor and publicize the results of the program

• May supervise recycling technicians, community service workers, or other employees or volunteers



Who Hires Recycling Coordinators?

Recycling coordinators are typically hired by organizations that have an annual budget for administering a recycling program.


• Federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal governments

• Community recycling organizations

• Integrated waste management companies

• Hospitals and health facilities

• Environmental consulting firms

• Private corporations




Recycling Coordinator Salary

Salary levels for recycling coordinators can vary depending on many factors, such as where they work, their level of experience, the budget of the recycling program and many others.


Recycling coordinator salary Canada: According to ECO Canada, recycling coordinators in entry-level positions make an average of $38,000 per year in Canada. With additional and experience, they can earn between $52,000 and $67,000 per year.


Recycling coordinator salary United States: According to U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, the median wages for recycling coordinators is $22.37 per hour.


Please Note: Some organizations with a small recycling program (and a minimal budget) may include coordination of their recycling program as a duty of an administrative assistant already on staff.



Work Conditions for Recycling Coordinators

Hours of work: Recycling coordinators typically work normal weekday working hours. These hours may be extended to perform certain job duties such as attending conferences and meetings, or to meet an important deadline.


Work setting: Recycling coordinators typically work in an office setting, and their duties often require them to work in the field. Fieldwork examples may include such duties as touring recycling plants, participating in regional recycling events, and making presentations to the public.


Work environment: Successfully administering recycling programs on a large scale can be extremely rewarding for recycling coordinators. However there are times when their jobs will be quite stressful, such as when they have to deal with public complaints, or if they are having a hard time getting funding secured for new projects or initiatives. 



Skills Needed to Become a Recycling Coordinator

There are certain skills, competencies and personality traits you need that will help ensure you become effective in your role of recycling coordinator. These skills and personality traits may include:


• Must have a commitment to environmental sustainability

• Must be able to effectively communicate, or delegate the effective communication of the importance of sustainability

• Must have a keen interest in lessening the impact your organization has on the environment

• Must be able to build relationships with recycling vendors

• Must have excellent communication and presentation skills

• Must be able to work within budgetary constraints



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Careers Related to Recycling Coordinator

Listed below are jobs that are similar in nature to Recycling Coordinator, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Environmental Education Officer

Municipal Environmental Coordinator

Natural Resources Manager

Waste Reduction Coordinator



References: Recycling Coordinator Career

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a Recycling Coordinator.


Explore Careers:Recycling Coordinator.” (n.d.). ECO Canada website. Retrieved January 12, 2020.

Careers:What Does a Recycling Coordinator Do?.” Laura Woods (n.d.) Houston Chronicle website. Retrieved January 12, 2020.


Please Note: Some of the information for this career guide was gathered from actual job postings, which due to the brief nature of their online presence, are not listed here as sources.




Scholarships for Becoming a Recycling Coordinator

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Recycling Coordinator can be found on our Environmental Science Scholarships page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Recycling Coordinator: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a recycling coordinator. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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