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Solid Waste Facility Operator Training and Certification

State law requires operators of solid waste facilities in New Hampshire to be certified through NHDES.

All operators who work at permitted solid waste facilities in New Hampshire must be certified by NHDES through the Solid Waste Facility Operator Training and Certification Program. Solid Waste Operator Training (SWOT) increases awareness of and compliance with RSA 149-M and the New Hampshire Solid Waste Rules through education and training. Operators that understand the requirements are in a better position to properly maintain their facility, control operating costs, and protect public health and the environment.

There are approximately 1,400 certified solid waste operators in New Hampshire.

***UPDATE TO IN-PERSON SWOT TRAINING DUE TO CURRENT HEALTH CONCERN*** To focus our efforts on developing online training capabilities so that we can make training as widely available as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHDES Waste Management Division is canceling in-person training sessions for the foreseeable future. Please keep in mind that Solid Waste Operator Training comes in many forms beyond a typical classroom setting including, but not limited to, on-site safety training; modification to operations at the solid waste facility where instruction and education is required; and online learning.

More information on the Status of Training for NH Certified Solid Waste Operators:

an auditorium set up for a workshopObtaining Initial Solid Waste Operator Certification 

Within 30 days of hire, all operators employed at a solid waste facility must submit a complete application with a $50 fee to NHDES. This entitles them to work at solid waste facilities in New Hampshire until they attend basic training and take the examination. NHDES notifies processed applicants of the next opportunity to train and test; that status is withdrawn if the operator does not attend. To apply, submit the most up-to-date initial application or contact the SWOT Program for a copy.  

Find the Initial Application  

an image of two large bins at a transfer station

Maintaining Your Solid Waste Operator Certification

Operators must renew their certification every year no more than 90 days prior to the certification expiration date. The operator shall submit to NHDES the following to renew:   

  1. A completed and signed renewal application.
  2. Adequate verification of at least 2.5 hours of continuing professional development within the previous 12 months.  
  3. $50 annual fee.   

If NHDES receives the application after the expiration date, but within 90 days following the expiration date, operators must pay an additional $25. If a renewal application is received more than 90 days after the expiration date, the application will be denied and the operator must reapply for initial certification.  

Find the renewal application  

Mock Inspection Workshop in Hollis. Operators completing Self-Inspection Sheets

Continuing Professional Development Workshops 

After a Solid Waste Operator has been certified, they must take at least 2.5 hours of continuing professional development within the 12 months prior to their expiration date. Adequate CPD consists of professional or technical instruction that imparts information and instruction relevant to waste management and solid waste facility operations. The SWOT Program hosts CPD for operators throughout the year.

Operators may choose to take training from a third party vendor. That is up to each individual operator to find, schedule and verify qualification and attendance to those classes.  

See the scheduled NHDES-hosted classes  

Solid-Waste-Management
Training and Certification Coordinator
[email protected]

Upcoming Events

NHDES-Hosted Continuing Professional Development

NHDES has developed a curriculum for solid waste operators that meets the definition of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) (Env-Sw 1603.03). The trainings were designed to instruct solid waste operators on how to best manage wastes that come into their facilities in order to promote environmental protection, public health and safety. Classes are added each year and updated as necessary.

Below is a table including descriptions of the NHDES workshops developed for CPD hours for certified solid waste operators and the corresponding presentations or webinar links, as available. If you have problems accessing any of these files, please contact the SWOT Program at [email protected] and we will provide accommodation. Operators should bring either their Basic Training Manual or BMP Manual to each of the workshops in order to build and update their library of information.

Workshop Title & Description Presentation Materials

Afternoon/Morning at the Movies
Workshop time will include watching the documentary Trashed, a discussion about the content of the documentary, and presentations on topics related to the documentary. All attendees are expected to participate in the discussion. This workshop is being offered once from 1:00-4:00pm. Please note: some parts of the documentary contain subtitles.

None

Annual Facility Report (AFR) Mini Sessions
The Solid Waste Management Bureau (SWMB) Staff will be available to answer questions from solid waste facility representatives regarding completing that year's AFR. Attendees should bring their records, questions, concerns and anything else they might need so that the SWMB Staff can fully answer their questions. Instructors will not be completing the AFR Forms for the solid waste facility representatives.

None

Asbestos
This workshop is designed for renewing Solid Waste Operators. The attendee will learn what asbestos is, the history of asbestos waste in NH, its potential health risks, typical asbestos-containing products and Best Management Practices (BMPs) for the management, transportation and disposal of asbestos waste that may be brought to their Solid Waste Transfer Station. Instructors are from the NHDES Air Resources and Waste Management Divisions.

Asbestos

Asbestos II
This workshop is designed as a follow-up to the Asbestos workshop. Instructors will discuss how asbestos is regulated and what operators need to know at their facilities, including identifying asbestos and what should be included in operating plans. Attendees should be able to determine how to manage an "unexpected" load of asbestos and whether a shipping facility is authorized to accept asbestos. Sample education and outreach materials for customers and residents will be provided.

Asbestos II

Basic Training Refresher
This workshop is designed for renewing Solid Waste Operators that became certified prior to 2011. The full-day class is condensed to a half-day to give the attendees an up-to-date review of the role their facilities play in the management of solid waste in NH.

BT Refresher

Batteries and HHW
This workshop is designed for solid waste operators who handle batteries of any kind or who may come into contact with household hazardous waste. Instructors will focus on the different types of batteries that solid waste operators may encounter, the hazards that occur with each type and the disposal options for batteries. Discussion will also include managing fires that occur from batteries. Attendees will also learn about household hazardous waste basics.

Batteries and HHW

Best Management Practices for Transfer Stations
This workshop is designed for renewing Solid Waste Operators. The attendee will learn what Best Management Practice (BMP) is as it relates to a Solid Waste Transfer Station, how to use them and why they are important. Instructors will cover a variety of specific BMPS, such as Universal Wastes, Used Oil and Filters, Household Sharps, Composting, Brush Piles, Glass, and Scrap Tires.

BMPs

Bulky Waste Management: Promoting Reuse and Recycling
This workshop will cover the potential for reuse and recycling of carpet, mattresses, large rigid plastic items and furniture. Included for each waste are collection and transport options and financial considerations. Instructors are from the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association.

Bulky Waste

Composting Basics: Don't Oversimplify It
NHDES Solid Waste Operator Training Program has partnered with Mark King from the State of Maine to offer workshops for solid waste operators as well as municipal officials, composting facilities, community gardens looking to implement composting as well as the public. The purpose of this workshop is teach attendees about the basics of composting and the importance of determining wat type of composting is the right fit for their facility, community or backyard.

None

Construction & Demolition Debris Management
Instructors will discuss all aspects of C&D Management from identifying, sorting, storing and shipping it off-site. Additionally, attendees will learn of the options for processing C&D including recycling, restoring, treating and finally landfilling if there is no other alternative.

None

Current Trends in Recycling
The instructors will discuss current recycling trends, such as how the "Green Fence of China" (an initiative that stops the shipment of contaminated recyclables into their country) has changed the recycling landscape in the US; and the current status of single stream or zero-sort in NH.

None

Electronic Waste Management
This workshop will provide attendees with up-to-date information on electronics waste recycling in NH as well as the Northeast. Instructors will familiarize operators with how the electronics recycling industry works; identify who the recyclers are; understand the role of certification in the recycling industry and answer questions regarding the e-waste recycling markets. Instructors are from the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC).

Electronics Management

Electronics Waste BMPs
This workshop is a follow-up to the Electronic Waste Management class that provided operators with the tools to identify electronics recyclers and how to choose the proper end markets for their goods. This workshop will guide operators on how to set-up and maintain an electronics waste recycling program at their facility. Instructors are from the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC).

Webinar: EWaste BMPs

Extreme Weather Events: How They Might Affect Your Facility & What You Can do to Prepare
Attendees at this workshop will learn what defines an extreme weather event, how they have changed over time in New Hampshire and the small changes in our behavior that can decrease the effects of these events. Instructors will discuss the terminology that has been used over the last 30 years including the misconceptions of those terms. Attendees will learn how these events can and have affected their solid waste facilities.

Extreme Weather

Extreme Weather Events: The Aftermath
This workshop is a follow-up to the Extreme Weather Events workshop. Attendees will be given practical information and tasks to follow-up on after an extreme weather event happens in their community. Solid Waste operators need to be prepared for storm debris to come to their facility consisting of approved and prohibited waste. Determining the best way to manage these wastes can help prevent further damage from occurring.

Extreme Weather, The Aftermath

Facility Managers: What You Need to Know
This workshop is designed for renewing Solid Waste Operators who are in a supervisory or management position at a solid waste facility. Instructors will discuss recordkeeping, reporting and permit requirements that solid waste managers typically handle. Attendees should bring a copy of their facility’s permit, operating plan, closure plan, most recent annual facility report, and BMP/Basic Training Manual.

Facility Managers, Part I

Facility Managers: What ELSE You Need to Know
This workshop is designed for renewing Solid Waste Operators who are in a supervisory or management position at a solid waste facility. Instructors will discuss full cost accounting methods that will enable municipalities and facility owners make educated budgeting decision as well as ways to manage volunteers in accordance with the rules. Attendees should be prepared to do a little homework. Registrants will receive a list of items to bring with them to the training.

Facility Managers, Part II

Facility Managers: Post-Closure Landfill Monitoring and Maintenance
This workshop is designed for facility operators and municipal officials who manage the post-closure activities at municipally-owned landfills. The presenters will be discussing groundwater monitoring permits (maintaining them and understanding the monitoring results); cap types and the differences between each of them; and the Who? What? Where? When? & Why? of post-closure annual facility reports. Operators who attend this workshop will be asked to bring with them the most current post-closure annual facility report, monitoring data and possible other facility paperwork.

Facility Managers, Part III

Food Scrap Management
This workshop will offer participants: an understanding of the requirements for development of an infrastructure for organics management; public education strategies to promote food reduction and composting; and a description of Best Management Practices for planning, implementing and promoting the Food Recovery Hierarchy. Instructors are from the Northeast Recycling Council.

Food Scrap Management

Get the Dirt on Biosolids & Yellow Grease
This workshop is designed to identify how residuals from wastewater treatment plants, septic activities and even cooking can relate to operations at solid waste facilities. Instructors will give a brief history on septage, discuss biosolids and how they are used at solid waste facilities, and instruct operators how to determine what is flushable or not. The class will round out with a discussion on yellow grease and how to implement a collection program at their solid waste facility.

Biosolids & Yellow Grease

Groundwater Basics, Landfill Monitoring & Case Histories
The attendee will learn about the early history of solid waste landfills in NH, how they have been closed and how they are monitored for the protection of human health and the environment. Attendees will learn how groundwater moves and how it can be affected by man-made contaminants.

Groundwater Basics

HHW & Batteries
Attendees will learn: how to determine if a solid waste is a hazardous waste; rules and regulations for household hazardous waste (HHW); how to sponsor a HHW Collection Day; and about various types of batteries and how to manage/recycle them.

HHW & Batteries

Implementing a Pay as You Throw Program
This workshop is designed for municipalities that are looking to either implement or change their existing Pay As You Throw Programs. Attendees will have some one-on-one time with instructors to design a program that will be effective for their town and also develop education & outreach for the town. Attendees should be prepared to do homework prior to attending the training in order to build a program that will meet their needs.

Implementing a PAYT Program

Implementing compost activities at your SW facility
NHDES Solid Waste Operator Training Program has partnered with Mark King from the State of Maine, DEP to offer workshops for solid waste operators as well as municipal officials, composting facilities, community gardens looking to implement composting as well as the public. The purpose of this workshop is provide practical information to attendees on how to implement composting at their permitted solid waste facility. Seats in this workshop will be held for SW Operators and town officials in charge of implementing composting at a permitted solid waste facility.

None

Landfills: What You Never Knew You Needed to Know
Attendees will learn about the early history of solid waste landfills in NH, how they have been closed and how they are monitored for the protection of human health and the environment. Attendees will learn how groundwater moves and how it can be affected by man-made contaminants.

Landfill Basics

Landfills in the Hierarchy
This workshop is designed to address how landfills fit into the waste management hierarchy and to delve into the management of specific wastes at a landfill site. Instructors will discuss what is authorized vs. prohibited waste, NH's statutory waste bans and an overview of operating/closure plans. This workshop is meant for any certified solid waste operator regardless of position or type of facility in which they work.

Landfills in the WM Hierarchy

Mock TS Inspection
The attendees will meet at a Transfer Station where they will partner with NHDES Solid Waste Inspectors to conduct a BMP Inspection using the Self-Inspection Checklists created specifically for transfer station operators. The checklists were created to help operators determine if their waste collection methods comply with applicable rules.

None

Operating Plans
This workshop is designed to assist SW Facility Managers, Owners and permittees develop operating plans that meet the requirements of the rules, conditions of their solid waste permit and any other regulations that the facility may be subject to. The instructors have developed a practical method for clarifying the parts of the operating plan and what facility activities should and can be covered in the plan. Attendees are to bring a copy of their permit and most current operating plan in order to complete the classroom activities.

Operating Plans

Organics
Attendees will see first-hand how a composting facility works and will gather hands on knowledge as to why permitting facilities for food waste composting is so important. The instructors will be from the Northeast Recycling Council and NHDES.

Organics

Pay As You Throw, Recycling Strategies and Toxics in Packaging
NHDES partnered with Northeast Recycling Council to hold a workshop to assist solid waste operators, municipal officials and interested parties on pertinent solid waste issues in the Northeast. When attendees leave the workshop, they should have information, knowledge and/or the beginnings of a plan of action on the following. 1) Knowing whether "Pay As You Throw" is a viable option for your facility and/or municipality. Also, steps to implement a Pay As You Throw (PAYT) program and how PAYT can be phased-in to best fit your community, what are the different PAYT models used, how to "win over" elected officials and the public to understanding the benefits of PAYT, and what are the benefits and challenges to adopting PAYT in your community. 2) Determining what recycling strategies will work best for your community and facility. 3) What is "toxics in packaging" and why should you care? What are potential impacts resulting from toxics in packaging, why is New Hampshire committed to toxics reduction in packaging?

PAYT, Recycling & Toxics

Pollution Prevention and Household Hazardous Waste
Attendees will be introduced to Pollution Prevention (P2) Basics; will learn the rules and regulations for household hazardous waste (HHW); and how to sponsor a HHW Collection Day.

P2 & HHW

Rethinking Recycling: 2020 & Beyond, Join the conversation on the next generation of waste stream initiatives
NHDES has partnered with the Northeast Resource Recovery Association to offer a workshop free of charge to solid waste operators, solid waste permittees, municipal officials and interested members of the public. Attendees at this workshop will walk away with the following information: The state of recycling globally, nationally and locally including an update on China sword, tariffs and domestic capacity building; How did we get in this state in regards to recycling?; and most importantly Identify opportunities for recycling in NH moving forward. Instructors will provide recycling solutions for municipalities and facilities regardless of the manner in which they recycle (i.e. single stream, source separation or dual stream) that are meant to be environmentally and economically sustainable.

Webinar: Rethinking Recycling

Safety at SW Facilities
NHDES has partnered with Primex to discuss safety for SW Operators. Safety Topics to be covered will focus on the following issues specific to collection/storage/transfer solid waste facilities including: machinery, walking & working surfaces, electrical safety, hazardous substances, PPE and ergonomics.

Webinar: Safety & Risk Management

Scrap Metal & Stormwater Management
This workshop is designed for renewing Solid Waste Operators who work at a scrap metal facility. SWMB Staff Members will discuss management of scrap metal at solid waste facilities in accordance with the rules and cover any best management practices for managing that was as a commodity. Additionally, instructors from the Water Division will talk about the federal requirements for stormwater management.

Webinar: Scrap Metal & SW Mgmt

Textiles Recovery and Diversion
This workshop will provide participants with information on the environmental and economic benefits of recovering textiles and on what kinds of textiles are acceptable. The training will include open discussion and two industry representatives. Instructors are from the Northeast Recycling Council.

Textiles

Things that Go Bang!
Instructors will be discussing materials associated with Clandestine Drug and Explosive labs. They will touch on health and safety at these locations and any emergency actions that must be taken. In addition, we will discuss actions that solid waste operators should take if they encounter these wastes at their facilities.

Webinar: Things that Go Bang!

Ticked Off & More
This workshop is a hodge-podge of a variety of topics that directly affect the personal health and safety of solid waste facility workers. Attendees will be educated on the dangers of ticks and mosquitos and how to protect themselves from them; and sun safety including dehydration.

Ticked Off & More

To Burn, Or Not To Burn
Attendees will learn about construction and demolition (C&D) debris and asbestos, what can and cannot be burned in a burn pile, ash management, and alternatives to open burning. Instructors are from the NHDES Waste Management and Air Resources Divisions.

Webinar: To Burn, or Not to Burn

Universal Waste, Part I
This workshop is designed for renewing Solid Waste Operators to learn more about the proper management of universal wastes collected at transfer stations.

UW, Part I
Universal Waste, Part II
This workshop is designed for renewing Solid Waste Operators to learn more than "just the basics" about Universal Wastes. The training will give the operators some real life experience on managing and handling universal wastes. Operators will also practice using the Self-Inspection Checklists and BMP Guide Sheets for Universal Wastes.
UW, Part II

Used Oil, Part I
Attendees will learn Best Management Practices and compliance issues with used oil. Attendees will also learn about the management, transportation and recycling of used oil that may be brought to their Solid Waste Transfer Station. Instructors are from the NHDES Waste Management Division.

UO, Part I
Used Oil, Part II
Attendees will learned more about the hazards of Used Oil. NHDES Staff will cover why used oil is regulated as a HW in NH; who brings used oil to your facility, used oil grants and all about marketing used oil.

UO, Part II

Used Oil, Part III
Attendees will learn how to handle a used oil spill at their facility and how to manage used oil that has been brought to their facility that is contaminated. NHDES Staff will also quiz attendees on their knowledge of the used oil and fluids management BMPs.

UO, Part III
You are ready to compost, now what?
NHDES Solid Waste Operator Training Program has partnered with Mark King from the State of Maine to offer workshops for solid waste operators as well as municipal officials, composting facilities, community gardens looking to implement composting as well as the public. The purpose of this workshop to have a conversation with those who are in various stages of composting. Discuss the issues for NH facilities including site location, transportation, logistics and regulations.
None