Solid Waste & Recycling

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SWANA Solid Waste Training

For over 40 years, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has been the leading professional association in the solid waste field. The association serves over 8,000 members in both Canada and the United States, and thousands more...


For over 40 years, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has been the leading professional association in the solid waste field. The association serves over 8,000 members in both Canada and the United States, and thousands more with technical training courses, conferences, certifications, and publications. Across Canada, SWANA’s 850 members comprise four chapters: SWANA Atlantic Chapter (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador), SWANA Ontario Chapter, SWANA Northern Lights Chapter (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Northwest Territories), and SWANA BC Pacific Chapter.

SWANA certification is now recognized by governments and industry across North America. Through the many activities of its seven Technical Divisions, SWANA has developed numerous training and certification programs. The Divisions are: Collection & Transfer; Communication, Education & Marketing; Landfill Gas; Landfill Management; Planning & Management; Recycling & Special Waste; and Waste-to-Energy.

SWANA offers more than 40 training programs for both classroom and home/workplace study. The classroom courses run from one to three days, with the certification courses having a three-hour certification exam on the fourth day.

SWANA certification courses (3 day courses)

1. Manager of Landfill Operations (MOLO)

The SWANA “Manager of Landfill Operations” course teaches the operator/inspector how to plan, permit, operate, and close a modern sanitary landfill. Issues covered include regulatory requirements, compliance with design and operating standards, waste receiving, operational and safety techniques, and landfill economics as well as environmental monitoring and control of landfill gas, leachate and surface runoff.

The SWANA “Manager of Transfer Station Systems” course instructs operators, engineers and managers in all aspects of the design, permitting, construction and operation of a modern transfer station. Included are sections on waste characteristics, types of transfer stations, equipment options, routing, construction materials and techniques, safety, and environmental concerns for various materials handled, including MSW, recyclables, yard waste, bulky wastes, and commercial waste.

This C&D course was developed in cooperation with the Construction Material Recycling Association (CMRA). It will instruct you in the fundamental skills, abilities, and knowledge required by a manager of C&D debris operations. Through classroom exercises and case studies, individuals will be trained on subjects important for the environmentally and economically sound design and operation of recycling and disposal operations for C&D debris materials. As well, issues such as facilities siting, site design and materials marketing will be reviewed.

This prep course for the Recycling Certification exam will help you to understand the marketing tools of recyclables in order to simplify your system and maximize your revenues. Recognize the issues that need to be considered when planning, designing and managing waste reduction, recycling and composting systems. Receive hands on instruction and learn about “reduce, reuse and recycle” strategies and initiatives that pertain to municipal waste. Use these tactical methods to apply to and improve your program. In addition, grasp the key concepts of marketing recyclables and explore the basics of system costs, funding and ownership/operation decisions that increase revenue.

Be able to collect waste with haste through this prep course for the Collection Systems Certification exam. Receive instruction in different areas of the collection system such as an understanding of the logistics of planning, managing and operating solid waste and recyclables collection services. This course consists of presentations, classroom exercises, and case studies that will enable you to navigate and chart routes more effectively. You will examine waste characteristics, service types, equipment, routing and system design. Furthermore, learn up to date practices for handling various materials, including residential MSW, traditional recyclables, yard wastes, bulky items and commercial wastes.

In this prep course for the Composting Certification exam, issued jointly by SWANA and the U.S. Composting Council (USCC), professionals who manage or would like to manage composting programs will be exposed to the various opportunities for composting municipal, agricultural and industrial waste. This course will enable you to turn your program into a successful and cost effective operation by gaining an understanding in both the composting of materials and the full range of technologies involved in planning, designing and operating composts.

Solid waste professionals in or hoping to move into a managerial position can help advance their career in leadership roles and responsibilities for multi-component solid waste systems. This is a helpful prep course for the MSW Systems Management Certification exam. Understand the basics of developing solid waste systems along with management theory and its implications. You will become familiar with managing financial and human resources to make sound management decisions. Also you will discuss the vital roles of ethics, leadership and the importance of building public consent and media relations.

John Lackie is Canadian Representative to the SWANA International Board and Executive Director of the SWANA Ontario Chapter. Contact John at j.lackie@sympatico.ca


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