Exchange new ideas, make new connections, advance your career and check out new products and services.

WASTECON® is the premier solid waste industry-focused conference that brings you the latest news, education, advancements and products to help you achieve success in your business, all in one setting.

The 54th Annual WASTECON conference will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana, from August 22 – 25, 2016. WASTECON® maintains the standard of excellence you’ve come to expect from SWANA by offering opportunities to see what’s new in collection, processing, marketing and management of compost, recyclables and solid waste.

Join thousands of industry professionals for training, technical sessions, exhibits and networking opportunities. Explore a variety of new topics and expand your knowledge of what’s happening in solid waste management. Exhibitors welcome attendees to join them for the opening night kick-off celebration with complimentary drinks, hors d’oeuvres and light buffet. WASTECON® will once again be featuring world-class exhibitors showcasing their cutting edge products and services.

Highlights of WASTECON® 2016

SWANA Safety Summit Returns!

SWANA’s 4th Annual Safety Summit is back at WASTECON®. SWANA recognizes that, in this industry, #SafetyMatters. That’s why we’ve curated a program track that focuses solely on safety. Speakers will show attendees how to change behaviors and create a safety culture, as well as how to navigate inspections and reduce liability.

This year’s Safety Summit, which is the biggest annual safety event in the waste industry, features terrific speakers and topics, with a focus on improving the safety culture at companies and municipal agencies.

The Safety Summit further provides education, information and resources that attendees can use to reduce fatalities, accidents and injuries. Nothing we do at SWANA is more important.

Celebration of Excellence, Featuring the Debut of SWANA Safety Award Recipients

On Tuesday morning, August 23, at 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. in the Sagamore Ballroom, SWANA will induct officers for the coming year and present awards to individuals, organizations and Chapters in order to recognize extraordinary effort and achievement. Come celebrate the accomplishments of your industry peers at our annual breakfast and see who takes home the trophies for excellence.

SWANA’s annual event celebrates the best in the solid waste industry, as evaluated by our peers against rigorous professional criteria. Excellence Awards recognize organizations for their outstanding programs and facilities that meet technical, economic and regulatory state-of-the art standards. Professional Achievement Awards honor individuals for personal contributions to the profession and to SWANA. Faculty awards recognize the valuable work and commitment of the dedicated volunteers who develop and teach our training courses. Come cheer your colleagues and friends taking home the coveted SWANA trophies. As part of the festivities, SWANA will hold its Annual Business Meeting, which includes the introduction of the FY2017 Executive Board.

New for 2016—SWANA honors its Safety Award Recipients

SWANA’s inaugural safety awards program is intended to highlight best practices and innovative efforts to improve safety in the waste and recycling industry.  We are very pleased by the strong member response to these new awards, and hope to expand them in 2017.  This year, we will recognize the biggest safety improvement and best safety innovation.

SWANA’s 2016 Lawrence Lecturer: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Nora Goldstein is Editor of BioCycle, the Organics Recycling Authority, published by The JG Press, Inc. in Emmaus, PA. Nora has authored numerous articles on all facets of zero waste, food recovery and recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion. She is a recipient of the U.S. Composting Council’s Hi Kellogg Award for Outstanding Service to the Composting Industry, and the American Biogas Council’s Biogas Visionary Award. Nora serves as a Board Member Emeritus of the American Biogas Council.

Organic Waste Goes Where?

Recognizing that organics management is the hottest topic in solid waste management today, SWANA lined up a series of sessions on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, to explore how different organizations are collecting and processing food scraps and other organics. You’ll discover examples to apply in your own community and contacts for follow-up conversations after WASTECON ends.

Organics Collection: From One Kitchen to the Next

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

This is a two-part presentation. The first session will start with a report from Jeremy O’Brien, SWANA’s Director of Applied Research, on findings from a recently completed project by the SWANA Applied Research Foundation on organics collection. Then, using a series of questions posed to each panelist, the moderator will catalyze an open conversation on the current state of the collection and management of organic waste. Part one will focus on residential collection, and part two will cover commercial collection.

Uneaten Food: Envision Opportunities, Not Waste

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

This session builds on SWANA’s Spring conference (SWANApalooza) with updates on what is being done to reduce, recover and reuse food waste. You’ll hear updates on the EPA/USDA goal to reduce “food scraps”, the ReFED report, The Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste and the practices of leaders committed to save resources, create jobs, alleviate hunger, conserve water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions—all while stimulating a new multi-billion dollar market opportunity.

The Great Organics Debate
(Lunch & Learn)

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

(Ticket required for this event)

Many technologies are used or proposed to manage organic wastes (not just food scraps), including landfilling, composting, anaerobic digestion, wastewater treatment, waste-to-energy and other conversion technologies. Advocates for each technology claim to have the most cost-effective, environmentally sound method for organics management. Some technologies base their claims of benefits or added value on negative information about other technologies they want to displace. Who can you believe?

During your lunch, experts will debate the pros and cons of several technologies and try to separate key information from misinformation. Topics may include relative costs, GHG emissions, other pollutant emissions, odor, energy, transportation and water use. Participate in audience polls to determine which position is most persuasive.

Technical Sessions

Technical Divisions are SWANA’s name for special interest areas. They help you connect with fellow professionals who are trying to solve the same challenges. It’s the best way to track hot topics in your industry segment and access specific expertise. WASTECON features special sessions “curated” and organized by Technical Division leaders that help engage participants in conversation and shape the future of our profession. These curated discussions are your opportunity to meet “your people” face to face. Working together in these sessions is the best way to make connections and find your niche in the solid waste profession.

I Need Millions of Dollars to Support My Program—How Do I Get It?

Curated by the Collection and Transfer Technical Division

Public decision-makers are confronted with citizens/ratepayers asking for solid waste services to be provided quicker, cheaper and faster. In a nutshell, the mantra is typically doing more with less. The Great Recession of 2008 resulted in a reduction of waste tonnages received by solid waste facilities, as well as reduced revenues for solid waste systems. Until recently, most agencies kept the rates stable. How can solid waste directors fund their need for replacement collection vehicles, landfill equipment and facility expansions? How do they proceed on a cost of service/rate study to fully fund their agency’s needs going forward?  Three solid waste directors recently faced these funding issues during the course of conducting a third-party, cost of service/rate study. Each has a different “spin” on how solid waste systems can be funded and how it can be presented to political decision-makers.

The Final Outcome: Summary of the Final NSPS and EG Rules for Landfills

Curated by the Landfill Gas and Biogas Technical Division

After several years of working with EPA and other stakeholders and a lot of uncertainty, the landfill industry must begin to comply with the newly promulgated NSPS and EG rules for landfills. In this session, experts from the Rules and Regulation/Advocacy Committees of the Landfill Gas and Biogas Division will summarize the final elements of the updated rules and assess the anticipated impacts the rules will have on landfills and the LFG industry. The rule summary will cover key components of the new/updated rules as well as timetables for rule implementation. In assessing impacts, the experts will detail impacts as they relate to additional costs for compliance, compliance liability and operational issues. The panel will also set forth important industry positions on how best to address certain rule criteria.

The Elephant in the Room: Calculating a Waste Diversion Rate

Curated by the Planning and Management Technical Division

The methods for calculating a waste diversion rate are as varied as there are people or organizations that calculate it.  What should be the accepted method? Is there a standard that we could all agree upon?  The Planning & Management Technical Division wants to talk about the “elephant” and get it out in the open.

We are proposing a project involving SWANA HQ, Technical Divisions, Applied Research Foundation, U.S. EPA, amd NWRA to develop guidelines and recommendations for how to approach waste diversion rates. This presentation will be the first of a two-part series and include examples of diversion rate calculations from across the country that our presenters will bring. Part 2 will be presented at WASTECON 2017. We expect a lively discussion of the main issues and a compelling start to the dialogue.

Aggressive Recycling Goals? Let’s Strategize to Achieve Them!

Curated by the Sustainable Materials Management Technical Division (formerly the Recycling and Special Waste Technical Division)

On one side, nationwide recycling goals trend towards aggressive recycling, on the other side, there are discussions on sustainability of recycling—particularly scrutiny for economical unviability. Join us for this interactive simulation session where the audience will be placed in a situation as decision makers. The situation is to achieve recycling goals by focusing on three tiers of sustainability—environmental, social and economic. The audience, serving as decision makers for the fictional “Green & Thrifty County”, will be provided with a problem statement with pertinent data and constraints. The problem is intended to resemble a real-world scenario in the U.S. The problem will focus on Green & Thrifty County trying to achieve a state 75 percent recycling goal by maximizing profit while balancing environmental and social concerns. Specifics of the problem statement will be provided at the beginning of the session. The audience will be split into groups as county commissioners. Concluding the session, we will focus on solutions presented by each group. Post-conference, session organizers will submit a paper for publication opportunities.

Strategies for Success from the Best of the Best

Curated by the Waste-to-Energy Technical Division

SWANA not only recognizes excellence, but also wants to encourage and promote “Best in Class” procedures. We have invited some Excellence Award winners to share how they came up with their ideas, how they implemented them, and how they measure their success. While the awards were for excellence in specific technical divisions, the discussion will focus more on the “how” than the “what” of the operational, environmental and safety achievements that earned them their awards. These companies will share winning strategies to help you in your efforts to continually improve and share your facility’s excellence.

Look for the complete session listings at

SWANA’s WASTECON’s 2nd Annual
5K Fun Run-Walk for Charity

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

6:15 a.m. (Race begins promptly at 7:00 a.m.)

Registration Fee:  $35 (Includes event registration, T-Shirt and Race        Bib)


Walk with proceeds supporting Indiana Children’s Wish Fund. (
Registration Required.

WASTECON® 2017 Kick-Off Party

As WASTECON 2016 draws to a close, join us and attend this event on Thursday, August 25 to get a glimpse of WASTECON® 2017, in Baltimore, MD. SWANA hosts the ISWA World Congress on September 25 – 27, 2017. The Kick-Off Party is sure to be an exciting preview of this larger-than-life event and is your exclusive opportunity to learn how two major waste industry events will blend into one SUPER conference that should top your budget and travel requests for 2017. The Thursday event at WASTECON will introduce you to key ISWA members who will be instrumental in shaping the 2017 program.

SWANA’s Young Professionals (YPs) Group

YPs are individuals, age 35 and younger, who represent the future of the solid waste industry. YPs are the NEXT generation of SWANA. The SWANA Young Professionals group continues to grow and expand across North America, with more than 500 members busy this past year speaking at SWANA events, leading teams, mentoring students and making strides in every aspect of the industry.

YP Networking Event, Featuring “Minute Mentoring”

We know how difficult it is to meet other young professionals in the field, which is why the SWANA Young Professionals (YPs) group is hosting its Annual YP Networking Event on Monday, August 22 at WASTECON® 2016. Attendees will have the opportunity to expand your professional network, talk and laugh with friends, win amazing door prizes, and benefit from the guidance and advice of well-established industry professionals through the “Minute Mentoring” portion of the night. Door prizes will be awarded, and a cash bar will be available. We hope to see you there! (For YP attendees and invited guests only)

SWANA’s National Solid Waste Design Competition for Students

The SWDC is a student team competition held at SWANA’s WASTECON conference to solve a “real world” problem faced by solid waste professionals. The competition aims at providing design experience for students interested in pursuing an education and/or career in solid waste management. This year features new teams, a new problem statement, and new excitement following last year’s much talked about event. You don’t want to miss the live team presentations and judging on Monday, August 22. All are welcome!

YP Hosted Educational Sessions

Getting YPs Engaged Within SWANA: A YP Info Session

Tuesday. August 23, 2016 | 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

YP Annual Meeting

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Entrepreneurship in Waste Management

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 | 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This workshop session aims to shed light on new entrepreneurship ideas in the waste management industry and highlight current challenges and opportunities. Participants will discuss entrepreneurship in the context of the following fields: waste prevention, waste collection, and waste treatment; formulate new business ideas; and be motivated to implement new forms of entrepreneurship within their own organizations. The session will bring together professionals, decision/policy makers and entrepreneurs in a way to address challenges, identify opportunities, and share the most effective process and recommendations to create a successful business. The session is open to all, but the number of attendees is limited to 60 people, so arrive early! Moderator: Ashley Evans, YP Steering Committee Chair.

Contact [email protected] to receive an invite to YP activities at WASTECON or sign up as a mentor or sponsor.

Race Over to Wednesday Night’s Motor Speedway Event

Experience Indiana’s historic landmark, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where you’ll make epic memories at WASTECON’s annual Wednesday Night Chapter Networking event, proudly co-hosted by the Indiana & Ohio Chapters of SWANA, in partnership with StormCon.

Home of the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, the Speedway’s track opened in 1909 and is currently the world’s largest spectator facility. As part of this year’s festivities, you’ll spend an evening with industry colleagues that will leave you with tales to tell for years to come.

At the “Starting Gate,” attendees will enjoy:

Food and refreshments served in The Pagoda, one of the most recognizable structures in worldwide motorsports with an enviable view of the start/finish lines.

“Kissing the Bricks” on the Brick Yard, is the original surface of the Speedway featuring its 36-inch intact strip of the original bricks at the start-finish line.

Racetrack Rides (separate tickets required to ride) to roar around the track at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour on the legendary 2.5-mile oval track.

Dance and capture a selfie in Victory Circle after crossing the finish line as the checkered flag is waved.

Summer Training and Exam Center (Co-Located with WASTECON 2016)

SWANA’s industry-recognized training programs strive to ensure that SWANA members and other industry professionals stay competitive, up-to-date and in compliance with current best practices within the solid waste industry.  SWANA’s Summer Training and Exam Center is a popular destination for solid waste, recycling and resource management professionals seeking to advance their career. Choose from our extensive course list of two, three and four-day technical training courses.

Two-Day Courses:

Managing Transfer Station Systems – 20 CEUs
Monday, August 22 – Tuesday, August 23, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
This course addresses the factors in the design, operation and management of a transfer station. It deals with how to effectively communicate and overcome the challenges in planning and operating a transfer station and how planning and design affect construction and operation. You will also learn how a well-planned, designed and operated transfer station provides advantages and flexibility to a waste management system.

Managing Collection Systems – 20 CEUs
Monday, August 22 – Tuesday, August 23, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Managing Collection Systems addresses the collection of residential solid waste and recyclables from single family and multi-family residences. The course includes a discussion of state-of-the-art technology and best practices as reported in the literature and practice. The course provides information that will assist individuals and organizations in the planning, operations and management of residential solid waste and recyclables collection systems.

Organics Collection – 30 CEUs
Monday, August 22 – Tuesday, August 23, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Organics Collection is one the hottest trends in solid waste management today. This course discusses the specifics of developing an organics collection program. The course includes extensive discussion of case studies of existing residential, commercial and institutional organic collection programs.

Three-Day Courses

Managing Composting Programs – 30 CEUs
Monday, August 22 – Wednesday, August 24, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
This course addresses concepts critical to successfully managing composting programs including the rationale for composting, planning and site development, economics and operations. This course includes information on new practices, emerging technologies, and management issues inherent in municipal composting programs. The course consists of class lecture, classroom activities and a facility tour.

Managing Integrated Solid Waste Management Systems – 30 CEUs
Monday, August 22-Wednesday, August 24, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
This course addresses the issues confronting managers of integrated municipal solid waste management systems. Master concepts of planning, developing and managing solid waste systems are discussed along with specific system management issues. The course is taught by MSW managers, systems planners and officials with years of experience in planning, budgeting, personnel management, and policy issues as they relate to MSW management. The course also serves as preparation for the MSW Management certification exam.

Managing Recycling Systems – 30 CEUs
Monday, August 22 – Wednesday, August 24, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
This course provides the information needed to successfully plan, develop, market, and manage recycling programs. It also addresses collection, processing, end-use standards application and protection of human health and the environment.

HHW & CESQG Collection Operations – 30 CEUs
Monday, August 22 – Wednesday, August 24, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
This course is designed to satisfy the 24-hour OSHA HAZWOPER health and safety training as required by many states for HHW/CESQG operations.

New! MOLO Boot Camp is coming to the Summer Training Center

Manager of Landfill Operations (MOLO) Bootcamp – 30 CEUs
Sunday, August 21 – Wednesday, August 24, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30p.m.

MOLO Bootcamp began as a special [email protected] course, and now it’s making its way to Indianapolis. SWANA is offering a unique experience to optimize your time, energy and money by attending this four-day intense Boot Camp training format. The Manager of Landfill Operations (MOLO) course provides a comprehensive study of efficient landfill operations, including site design, compliance with regulations, and issues to consider when planning, operating, and closing landfills.

Shift Your Career into High Gear. Get SWANA Certified!

Certification can be the key to a higher salary and greater job fulfillment. Join the SWANA strong, and get certified to demonstrate your commitment to the industry, your career, and your employer.

Exam Center 1: Wednesday, August 24 | 8:00a.m – 11:30a.m.
Recommended for 2-day courses
Exam Center 2: Thursday, August 25 | 8:00a.m – 11:30a.m.
Recommended for 3-day courses

If you are taking an exam only, register for either day.

Exam check-in: 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Exams: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Certification Exams are offered for nine disciplines:

Bioreactor and Leachate Recirculation Landfills

Collection Systems

Composting Programs

Construction & Demolition Materials Management

HHW/CESQG Facility Operations

Integrated Solid Waste Management Systems

Landfill Management (MOLO)

Recycling Systems

Transfer Station Systems

WASTECON registration is now open. We hope to see you there!

For more information, visit