8 Best Recycling Degree Program

Recycling is the process of reusing materials instead of disposing of them as waste. It is a word that exists due to the presence of waste in the environment. This word has produced some programs which have been running over time in different colleges around the world. What are those degree programs? And what can you do with a degree program in recycling?

Recycling is important because it helps to reduce the amount of garbage we produce, as well as reduce the pollution level of the environment. Recycling is an easier and more efficient process to produce many raw materials.

Its importance extends beyond just reducing the amount of garbage produced by an individual or city. It also has an impact on CO2 emissions and air quality, saves natural resources like trees, water, and minerals, reduces energy use for production processes, encourages a cleaner habitat for humans and animals, etc.

It is important to know that many different things can be recycled, not just plastic bottles and paper. For instance, in the United States, the process of recycling takes about 32% of solid waste.

This is a huge improvement from only 20 years ago when the United States only recycled about 10%! This is the major reason why we should take advantage of the opportunities to obtain a degree in recycling to be more equipped to carry out this process thereby saving our environment.

A recycling degree can avail you the necessary knowledge you need to carry out recycling and most importantly the certificate acquired will serve as leverage for you to gain access to some duties that will aid recycling or jobs in recycling organizations.

Recycling Degree

10 Things You Can Do with a Degree in Recycling

Recycling, like general waste management, is handled by both the public and private sectors. A local government might be responsible for collecting, processing, and selling recyclables, or it might hire private contractors to carry out these duties.

Recycling doesn’t have to be handled entirely by public or private entities, however. The division of duties between the public and private sectors varies among communities.

Hence, the need to let you know that you can be a part of this recycling process, which will not only save the environment but as be a means for your earnings. Below are 10 things you can do with your recycling degree.

  • Recycling officer
  • Environmental Educator
  • Nature Conservation Officer
  • You can Save Money
  • Sorters
  • Technicians and Machinery Maintenance Workers
  • Material Recovery Facility Managers
  • Route Managers
  • Quality Control and Quality Assurance Officer
  • Promoting Community Cohesion

1. Recycling Officer

As a recycling officer, you will develop and implement policies to help those who do recycle and encourage others to recycle, too. You will organize setups at different events to make people aware of the numerous benefits of recycling.

Planning community events and collaborating with other organizations and community leaders will also be part of your duties. Having enthusiasm is important for this role because your positivity and excitement will spark other’s interests.

2. Environmental Educator

Making the public aware of environmental concerns and issues will be a part of your job every day. As an environmental educator and one who knows to recycle, you will teach and interpret the environment and the impacts of human activities on the environment, such as waste generation in the environment, and recycling is an effective tool to address that.

Not only will you have opportunities to teach students, but you will also have the opportunity to train community members and groups involved in the process of waste minimization by individually or collectively engaging in the recycling process of materials.

3. Nature Conservation Officer

The process of production makes use of raw materials from the natural environment.  But in the process of recycling used materials are recycled to produce new products thereby conserving nature.

Having a reputation as, “the law enforcement of great outdoors,” nature conservation officers are valued in the workforce in many ways. Aside from managing and protecting wildfire and water resources, you also have to have skills in leadership.

4. You can Save Money

With the knowledge acquired and degree obtained in recycling, you can save money for yourself and your community at large. For example, money can be saved by recycling paper and other materials that can be recycled and the cost of making new paper and other products from raw materials.

This means that the paper, plastic, and other materials that are recycled are less expensive than the materials that are used to make the new products. In other words, using recycled materials helps to keep the prices of many products more competitive.

5. Sorters

In single-stream recycling systems, many different kinds of recyclables are collected together. Sorters separate the various types of recyclables so they can be processed.

Sorters work along conveyor belts in waste recycling firms. As waste materials come down the conveyor belt, sorters pull out any items that cannot be recycled and should be disposed of. Sorters remove separate unwanted materials from recyclables. Sorters are also responsible for separating all the different types of recyclables by material type.

Sorters are necessary to ensure that no stray recyclables fall into the wrong group. Sorters also monitor the waste stream before it reaches the automated equipment to pull items that could damage the machinery, such as garden hoses, from the conveyor belt.

6. Technicians and Machinery Maintenance Workers

Recycling operations rely on various kinds of technicians and machinery maintenance workers to inspect and repair the automated equipment and to maintain recycling trucks.

In a recycling organization, technicians and maintenance workers monitor and operate the machines, including balers (compactors) that shape the recyclables into a form to simplify shipping to and use by manufacturers.

They also regularly inspect the machinery and diagnose and repair any problems with the electrical or hydraulic systems of the compactors. They record their work in detailed logs.

Technicians and maintenance workers are needed to repair and maintain the recycling trucks. They run inspections and diagnostic tests and perform preventative maintenance and vehicular repairs.

Truck technicians also document vehicular part usage and repair times. They may be required to make emergency roadside calls if recycling trucks experience problems while out on collection.

7. Material Recovery Facility Managers

Recovery Facility Managers keep the recycling facilities working efficiently and safely. They have a broad range of responsibilities, including overseeing site improvements, submitting budgets, and developing long-term goals for the facility.

The managers might also work with the sales team to identify new clients who might be interested in purchasing recyclables. When it is necessary to deal with the public or press, the managers are the face of the recycling operation.

This position may require education beyond a bachelor’s degree in a recycling program. You may have to earn a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a master’s degree in industrial engineering.

Management experience, especially in the waste industry, can sometimes be substituted for education. A combination of a graduate degree and several years of experience is ideal.

8. Route Managers

To collect recyclables in the most efficient way possible, route managers plan routes and schedules for recycling trucks to follow. They make use of maps and customer data, route managers choose the best schedule and routes for collecting recyclables from customers.

They determine the most efficient routes and assign them to drivers. Route managers monitor drivers’ routes and might solicit their feedback before making changes.

They record statistics, including the length of each route, the time it takes to run each route, the number of homes serviced, and the amount of recyclables collected. If the recycling service changes its collection plan such as the day on which recyclables are collected route managers inform customers of this change through the customer service department.

Route managers may also supervise recycling truck workers. If so, they monitor the hours that the drivers work to keep them below regulatory limits. Route managers also ensure that drivers receive regular training and drug and alcohol tests.

9. Quality Control and Quality Assurance Officer

These officers direct, monitor, and evaluate safety practices and procedures concerning laboratory and field analytical work. agencies as required. Reviews and approves laboratory reports (internal commercial) for quality assurance, accuracy, completeness, and reasonableness of data.

In the recycling firm, they sometimes work and remove unwanted materials from a single stream. For example, they might remove paper products from a stream of plastic containers.

10. Promoting Community Cohesion

With the knowledge of recycling and its implementation in your community, community members can learn from your act, They come together to recycle and support recycling activities, and they can also raise funds for schools, colleges, hospitals, and other socially relevant causes.

These recycling efforts make communities more cohesive, and inclusive as well as keep cities cleaner.

8 Best Recycling Degree Programs

  • Waste Minimization and Recycling
  • Sustainability and Resiliency
  • Recycling & Resource Management
  • Waste Management and Critical Raw Materials
  • Plastic Waste Management
  • Co-Creating Sustainable Cities
  • Understanding Water and Waste Management
  • Introduction to Zero-Waste Living

1. Waste Minimization and Recycling

Waste minimization is a set of processes and practices intended to reduce the amount of waste produced.

By reducing or eliminating the generation of harmful and persistent wastes, while recycling as stated above is the use of used materials to produce new ones, these support efforts to promote a more sustainable society.

This course has been introduced to the college curriculum in a bid to prepare with the necessary knowledge in recycling. For example in the College of the Atlantic resources discarded form an essential part of the school in the area of how to manage the resources.

In 2017 COA’s all College Meeting approved a comprehensive Discarded Resource and Material Management Policy, developed by students in the Zero Waste Club, that lays out goals and plans for 90% diversion of discarded materials campus-wide by 2025.

Student-run recycling program reaches every floor of every building on campus, making it easy to recycle just about everything used.

Compost systems at our farms and dining services create four tons of compost a year from pre-consumer waste and six tons from post-consumer waste. Compostable plates, cups, and utensils used at special events were processed off-campus at a commercially licensed facility.

Go to this page for this program

2. Sustainability and Resiliency

Building a more sustainable and resilient future for the planet is the pivotal challenge of the 21st century.

Sustainability and resiliency are part of what we should consider in everything we do, from the way we operate our domestic activities, to commercial activities as well as all other human activities around the world.

For example, Brown University is committed to leading by example in both addressing the University’s impact on the environment and also galvanizing education, research, and community engagement focused on confronting sustainability issues.

This University’s approach to sustainability is distinctive in focusing on the most immediate environmental challenges as well as the areas in which Brown is best positioned to effect positive change. The importance of this is that fresh raw materials are not used but saved up while trash material is used to make the same product that the fresh raw material would have made.

For instance, instead of cutting down trees to make new paper, old, used paper can be recycled and used to make fresh paper.

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3. Recycling & Resource Management

Recycling and waste management courses will teach you hands-on skills on how waste disposal methods work. These courses are offered by top universities and waste management and recycling firms from around the world.

As more cities and businesses develop sustainability policies, there is an increased need for trained staff who can properly manage organizational resources, as well as initiate effective environmental programs on local and domestic fronts.

In Santa Monica College education and real-world training in recycling and resource management is offered to help support individuals, communities, and companies reduce their waste, save money, and operate more efficiently.

Make connections between how historical events helped shape consumerism, and how other social phenomena influence our modern throw-away culture.

Learn how current local and domestic national legislation impact zero waste, landfill diversion, recycling, composting, and resource management.

Tap into key issues surrounding our carbon footprint, consumer laws, and cultural mindsets, and gain opportunities to connect with community partners on these topics.

You can earn a Department Certificate or extend your coursework to earn a state-approved recycling and resource management certificate. Make a difference and play an influential role in how local communities and businesses work together to resolve global climate change.

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4. Waste Management and Critical Raw Materials

The course, Waste Management, and Critical Raw Materials is one of the recycling and waste management courses provided by Delft University of Technology and offered online via edX.

In this course, students learn about the importance of waste management and how it saves critical raw materials. You will also gain practical knowledge of the circular economy, recycling, refurbishment, and remanufacturing as a means of identifying new business opportunities.

This is the course you should go for if you want to establish a business startup in waste management.

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5. Plastic Waste Management

Plastic Waste Management is one of the recycling and waste management courses taught by the Indian Institute of Technology. The course focuses on plastic as pollution to the environment the global problem it poses and the best way to manage and reduce its effectiveness.

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6. Co-Creating Sustainable Cities

This course is offered online via edX by the University of Delft and Wageningen University, teaching how technology and policy can save the environment from pollution and create a sustainable earth to promote human life.

Go to this page for this program

7. Understanding Water and Waste Management

This is one of the recycling and waste management courses from Udemy and it introduces students to the various technologies implemented in modern sustainable building projects around the world.

Enrolling in this course will equip you with an understanding of technology options for building design and techniques for water efficiency, water harvesting, and minimizing waste in the built environment.

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8. Introduction to Zero-Waste Living

Humans are a product of the earth and just like every other organism have to keep going daily and technology is one of the ways to keep moving. However, these technologies have contributed to the creation of wastes and everyday humans generate one form of waste or another.

Fortunately, there are waste management practices designed to keep these wastes in check and reduce their effect on human health and the environment.

This course is one of the recycling and management courses from Udemy and teaches individuals how they can control the amount of waste they generate daily. The course offers simple practices and techniques to efficiently reduce waste.

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These are the recycling degree programs that give you an interesting Educational pursuit and career fulfillment. Having a recycling program allows having a local source of raw materials that can be used to produce new items locally, reducing the need to import materials and, potentially, some products.


Environmental Consultant at Environment Go! | + posts

Ahamefula Ascension is a Real Estate Consultant, Data Analyst, and Content writer. He is the founder of Hope Ablaze Foundation and a Graduate of Environmental Management in one of the prestigious colleges in the country. He is obsessed with Reading, Research and Writing.

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