Recycling and Composting Facility Operator Certification Courses

Register For Courses

2017 Classes Dates   City       Address                                                      
Recycling May 16-18 Silver City Western NM University - ABC Room, Global Resource Center. 1000 W. College Ave, Silver City. Click here to register
Recycling Dec 5-7 Albuquerque Albuquerque Fire Academy - 11500 Sunset Gardens Road SW. Click here to register
Compost April 18-20 Carlsbad Thank you for a great class!
Compost Oct. 17-19 Raton Raton Convention Center - 901 S. 3rd Street, Raton. Click here to register
Collection Center Aug 22-24 Albuquerque Albuquerque Fire Academy - 11500 Sunset Gardens Road SW. Note class is a joint SWANA/NMRC class and is only for recertification.  See below for more info. Click here to register

Visit the NMSWANA web site to get details on registering for the Landfill and Transfer Station Certification Courses.

Make Online Payments

To pay online for a training click here.

Recycling and Composting Facility Operator Certification Courses

State Solid Waste Rules require that public and private solid waste facilities have certified operators. These courses enable operators to become certified!

The New Mexico Environment Department: Solid Waste Bureau (NMED:SWB), in partnership with NMRC, hosts two recycling and two compost facility operators certification courses each year.

# of Days Training Hours Max Class Size Cost for Members Costs for NonMembers
3 8 AM - 5 PM 35 $199 $299

Both compost and recycling courses are taught by experts in the fields and are required for New Mexico Environment Department facility operator certification. Classes consist of three days of training and a test at the end of the training. The recycling course is required as part of the National Recycling Professionals Certification through NMRC and Penn State University. To become certified at the state or national level, participants must pass the test with a score of 70% or higher.

Collection Center Training

This three-day class is presented in partnership with the NM Recycling Coalition, NM Solid Waste Association of North America and NM Environment Department: Solid Waste Bureau that attendees can take for recertification.

Who will benefit from this training?

  • Certified operators (with NMED recycling, transfer station, landfill, or composting certification) who are up for certification renewal
  • Collection center operators who do not require NMED certification
  • Tribal program coordinators and tribal solid waste/recycling operators
  • Any professional interested in recycling and solid waste operations

The Recycling Course Covers:

· Solid Waste Management Overview
· Solid Waste Laws and Regulations
· Composition of Waste
· Marketing and Transportation
· Economics of Recycling
· Collection of Recyclables
· Recycling Facility Design and Operations
· Problem Waste and Waste Screening
· Safety at Recycling Facilities--OSHA
· Record Keeping
· Education and Public Relations
· Organics Recycling
· Recycling History and Trends
· Special Use Areas
· Recycling Field Exercise/Tour

 The Composting Course Covers:

· Benefits of Composting
· Composting Process
· Raw Materials/Mix Design
· Compost Production Methods
· Compost Operations & Facility Management
· Site & Environmental Controls/Regulations
· Utilizing Compost/Specifications
· Compost Analytical Demonstration/Guest Speakers
· Compost Quality Measurements/Salts
· Compost Use by NMDOT
· Mortality Composting
· Compost Field Exercise /Tour
· Compost Economics & Marketing
· Compost and Plant Disease Suppression
· Other Options for Organics Management


NM Recycling and Composting Facility Operator Certification Course Details

NMED:SWB and NMRC host two recycling courses and two composting courses annually.  Our maximum class size is 35 students so please remember to register as early as possible to be assured a seat in the course.

To become a certified composting or recycling facility operator an individual shall:

  • Complete the appropriate certification training course
  • Pass an examination approved by NMED
  • Have at least one year of experience in the operation of a facility of the same type as that for which certification is sought
  • File an application with the department on a form provided by the department
  • Meet the requirements of the Parental Responsibility Act, NMSA 1978, Sections 40-5A-1 to 40-5A-13 (1998 Cum. Supp.)

Renewal of a certification shall be obtained by:

  • Submitting an application at least 30 days prior to the expiration date;
  • And successfully completing:
    • An operator certification training course offered by the department or its designated agent; or
    • An alternate training course which has been approved by the department; or
    • 24 hours of course work which has been approved by the department.

For additional information regarding Operator Certification contact Connie Pasteris, NMED, Solid Waste Bureau, Outreach and Technical Assistance Section, at 505-771-5982 or by  e-mail at:

Payment arrangements must be made before attending the course either by actual payment or by PO number. If a municipality or business has an outstanding due payment, they cannot send any registrants to courses until that past due invoice has been paid. There will be a $25 cancellation fee is you do not notify us before the late registration date.

Certification: To obtain NMED Solid Waste Facility Operator Certification, applicants must complete a course, score at least 70% on the certification exam offered at the end of each course, and have at least one year of experience operating the type of facility for which certification is sought.

Visit the NMSWANA web site to get details on registering for the Landfill and Transfer Station Courses.

Types of Certification