Thursday, September 20, 2012

Green Job Series: Careers in Recycling—Material Recovery Facility Managers

Keeping a constant flow of recyclables collected, sorted, processed, and sold requires a proficient staff of sorters, drivers, mechanics, technicians, machinery maintenance workers—and experienced material recovery facility (MRF) managers to supervise it. This installment of The Daily Leap's green job series describes the job of MRF managers.

Material Recovery Facility Managers

Job Duties

MRF 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. MRF 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, MRF managers are the face of the recycling operation.

MRF managers are also responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training employees. They evaluate employees' performances and offer feedback to senior managers on how to reward and compensate employees. Finally, because heavy machinery and large vehicles at an MRF can pose a risk to employees, a substantial part of MRF managers' jobs concerns workplace safety, such as providing employees with regular safety briefings and reviewing technicians' inspection and maintenance reports.

Education and Training

Positions for MRF managers may require education beyond a bachelor's degree. Many MRF managers have earned 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.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have data specifically for MRF managers; however, these workers are included in the occupation general and operations managers. The median annual wage for general and operations managers in the remediation and other waste management services industry group was $90,790 in May 2010. The wage is the median annual wage for the United States as a whole; wages vary by employer and location.

For more detailed information on MRF managers in the recycling industry, follow the Occupational Outlook Handbook link.

Next week’s recycling industry series installment: Route Managers

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