onDemand Zero Waste Principles & Practices Training Course

“Waste is a design flaw.” (Kate Kreba)

CONTENT & APPROACH: The Zero Waste Principles & Practices course encompasses a broad overview of zero waste principles and practices in 10 modules covering public policy, programs, technology and measurement:

  • Introduction to zero waste, including a survey of different definitions and perspectives
  • What’s in your waste stream?
  • Upstream, midstream and downstream: understanding zero waste strategies as they affect each stage of product lifestyles
  • Collection options
  • Processing technology options
  • Managing organics
  • Public venues and challenging materials
  • Changing behavior through education and outreach
  • Financing and funding
  • Contracting and partnerships

SWANA offers this course as a stand-alone learning experience that can also be used to supplement the learning and experience needed to prepare for certification in this discipline. Please note that passing a certification exam requires amassing knowledge, skills, and abilities over time from a variety of sources; no one course provides all of the knowledge needed to pass a certification exam. Knowledge is typically gained over time from years of experience in the field; online courses, webinars, and podcasts; in-person seminars, events, and workshops; and on-the-job training.

The Zero Waste Principles & Practices certification course is a joint undertaking of SWANA and the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA). CRRA is dedicated to achieving environmental sustainability in and beyond California through Zero Waste strategies. SWANA, with its work in 47 chapters across the United States and Canada, is committed to educating professionals working in the industry and to moving the industry as a whole from a focus on solid waste management to resource management.

This course is designed as a 100% self-study, online learning experience.

You will receive access to video recordings of the lessons, the eBook, and supplemental materials. (The hard-copy coursebook is available at an additional charge.)

Upon completion of the course, SWANA awards participants 30 Professional Development Hours (PDHs), formerly known as CEUs, to apply toward a current SWANA certification.

To ensure you receive the PDHs, send an email to certification@swana.org when you have completed the course.

Entry and mid-level managers of programs and systems serving local governments and other industry professionals that work in an advisory or consulting capacity with municipal programs and staff.

The Certification Exam is NOT included with the course purchase. If you wish to pursue certification, visit our Become Certified Page or email certification@swana.org for more information. 

Exam Cost






NEXT STEPS: Register using the links in the ribbon above.