Skip to Content

Landfill Operators Certification Training Program

A certified Landfill Operator must be present at a municipal solid waste landfill during all hours of operation. A person interested in obtaining a Landfill Operator certification must take training provided by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and pass an examination conducted by TDEC. The details regarding the training and certification requirements can be found in TDEC Rule 0400-11-01-.12. The following is additional information regarding the certification program:

Currently, a basic training class and certification examination are provided by TDEC once a year in the spring (usually in April) in the central Tennessee area. In addition, TDEC provides two (2) eight-hour training opportunities in the fall of each year for certified landfill operators, typically in Oak Ridge and Jackson.

TDEC's landfill operators certification training program consists of three (3) days of classroom instruction (including a field trip) and a final exam on the fourth day. Those landfill operators taking the exam must achieve at least a score of 70 (out of 100 points) to be certified. Topics that are covered during the three (3) days include: Tennessee Solid Waste Management Regulations, Landfill Math, Landfill Plans, Landfill Operations, Surveying, Waste Acceptance/Random Inspections, Groundwater Monitoring, Landfill Gas Management, Erosion Control, Liners & Leachate Collection, Closure & Post Closure, and Compliance Inspections & Recordkeeping.

The certification for Landfill Operators is valid for three years. To be recertified, a Landfill Operator must obtain 24 hours of TDEC approved training during this three-year period.

There is reciprocity for those Landfill Operators holding SWANA certification. A Tennessee certificate will be issued with the same expiration date as the SWANA certificate.

In addition to the basic training (3-day class) provided by TDEC in the spring of each year, TDEC recognizes the following training opportunities in order for a Certified Landfill Operator to obtain the 24 hours for re-certification:

  • The Solid Waste Sessions being held at the Annual Solid and Hazardous Waste Conference and Exhibition (Gatlinburg, TN)
  • Tennessee Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Training and Certification Program (includes Level I certification and Level II certification training classes). Training course information can be obtained from the following web site: www.tnepsc.org.
  • Level I Recertification - Tennessee Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Program. Recertification training course information can be obtained from the following web site: www.tnepsc.org.
  • TDEC Division of Solid Waste Management 8-credit hour class for certified landfill operators (offered each year in October).
  • TDEC approved SWANA training courses (landfill operator must submit proof of attendance).

TDEC encourages Tennessee Class I Landfill Operators to participate in these types of worthwhile programs.

TDEC will be holding the 8 Hour Landfill Operator Continuing Education Classes on October 14th in Jackson, TN and October 16th in Oak Ridge, TN.

For further details, contact:

Greg Luke at 615-532-0874
Division of Solid Waste Management
William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 14th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243