Protein biosynthesis is a conserved process, essential for life. Ongoing research for four decades has revealed the structural basis and mechanistic details of most protein biosynthesis steps. Numerous pathways and their regulation have recently been added to the translation system describing protein quality control and messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) surveillance, ribosome-associated protein folding and post-translational modification as well as human disorders associated with mRNA and ribosome homeostasis. Thus, translation constitutes a key regulatory process placing the ribosome as a central hub at the crossover of numerous cellular pathways. Here, we describe the role of ribosome recycling by ATP-binding cassette sub-family E member 1 (ABCE1) as a crucial regulatory step controlling the biogenesis of functional proteins and the degradation of aberrant nascent chains in quality control processes.