- The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) announced a new online testing platform that includes access to all 10 of its industry training courses.
- The new systems can be accessed remotely on any device and will give 48-hour pass/fail notification. "This new platform shows SWANA’s commitment to making it as convenient as possible to obtain and maintain solid waste industry certifications," said SWANA President Jeffrey Murray.
- The SWANA platform was developed by Captus Press, a Canadian textbook and online course publisher.
SWANA's course offerings cover core industry collection and facility specifications for a range of standard material streams. Most recently, SWANA and the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) launched a new "Zero Waste Principles and Practices" course. Taking these courses and becoming certified in various subject matter is seen as a way to help advance careers and expand the depth of knowledge for companies or government agencies.
This has become particularly difficult for SWANA's government members due to budget constraints. Many environmental agencies and local governments are also working with fewer staff than usual so taking time off can be a challenge even if the budget allows it. For any professional, regardless of their employers' budget, the ability to work or train remotely is also beneficial. By adding online access, SWANA hopes that all of this will open up opportunities for more professionals to get certified.
As the industry becomes more complicated and professionals are often expected to work toward "zero waste" goals while understanding the complexities Chinese trade policy, the need for training is seen as increasingly important. Because of how the U.S. regulatory structure is configured, the majority of waste and recycling decisions often happen at the local level. It has become more common for these decisions to be driven by companies or consultants depending on the experience of local officials and employees. Expanding access to training can ensure that all involved are operating on a level playing field when making choices that can affect municipalities, counties or states for many years.