Recycling & Compost Facility Operators Courses

The NM Recycling Coalition, in partnership with the NM Environment Department: Solid Waste Bureau is hosting an in-person Compost Facility Operators Course in Santa Fe on May 16-18 and a Recycling Facility Operators Certification Course in Truth or Consequences on June 13-15.

The 2023 fall and winter classes have open registration!

Recycling Course - Truth or Consequences June 13-15

Thank you for a great course!

Compost Course - Raton October 17-19

Click HERE to register for the compost course.

Recycling Course - December 12-14 in Albuquerque

The December class is full - Click HERE to add your name to the waiting list


Certification renewal
If you held a valid operator certification at the time of the class you were registered for, and you submit a completed renewal application as required in NM Solid Waste Rules, NMAC, your certification will be administratively continued, meaning it will not expire until you complete the required 24 continuing education units (CEUs) and a renewal certification is issued. The application is available HERE

NMRC is now offering 8 CEUs of online classes to be used towards your Certified Operator Recertification.  Click HERE to learn more

Administrative Extension due to Pandemic
NM Environment Department: Solid Waste Bureau (SWB) is granting administrative continuance as described above and in the attached guidance.  This gives certified operators that planned to take one of the canceled courses more time to get their required 24 CEU credits to maintain their certification.

What should you do?
If you are currently a certified recycling, compost, transfer station or landfill operator and your certification is set to expire this year, then 1) register to be put on the waiting list for a class with below; 2) complete a certificate for renewal for SWB found HERE and submit to Bill Schueler (; 3) complete 24 continuing education units and submit those to Bill Schueler.  Once you complete the 24 CEUs, you will be recertified.

How do I get the 24 CEUs needed?
The SWB has authorized CERTIFIED online trainings as a form of receiving CEU credits.  NMRC is now offering 8 CEUs of online classes to be used towards your Certified Operator Recertification.  Click HERE to learn more and register!

Questions about the status of your certification?
Contact Bill Schueler at SWB at – see for more information as well

Visit the NM-SWANA web site  to get details on registering for the Landfill and Transfer Station Certification Courses.Students with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must contact Joan M. Snider (, 505-827-2780) to request any special arrangements of disability accommodation at the course location when registering for the course.

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 DaysTraining HoursMax Class SizeCost for MembersCosts for NonMembers
38 AM - 5 PM35$249$349

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. To become certified at the state level, participants must pass the test with a score of 70% or higher.

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 William Schueler, NMED, Solid Waste Bureau, Outreach and Technical Assistance Section, at 505-771-5982 or by  e-mail at: William Schueler 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