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Someone Has to Sort Your Recycling, and It’s a Disgusting and Dangerous Job

The Nation (06/24/15) Michelle Chen

An analysis of the recycling industry by the Massachusetts Council for Occupational Safety and Health, National COSH, and other advocacy groups reveals that workers contend with stress, dangerous machinery, inadequate safeguards, constant toxic exposures, and other workplace hazards. The report indicates that these workers frequently encounter used syringes, glass shards, oil residue, and other hazards but often do not have the proper safety training or protective gear to handle these dangers.

There are concerns that recycling plants rely on temporary employees to lower labor costs, and these employees tend to suffer more frequent injuries than full-time employees and often do not report injuries or dangerous work conditions due to language barriers or fear of retaliation.