CRRA in partnership with SWANA: Zero Waste Principles & Practices Certification Program


For over 40 years CRRA has been a leader in Zero Waste education in California.  Now, joining forces with SWANA, CRRA offers a new professional development course that will certify professionals in Zero Waste Principles and Practices throughout North America.


  • May 23-27, 2022 - click here
  • October 3-7, 2022 - click here


The online course is four (4) hours a day for five (5) consecutive days VIA GOTOMEETING You must attend during the online hours, recordings will NOT be available. Following the course, the exam may be taken online through SWANA to complete the certification process. SPACE IS LIMITED. For more information, or to register, click here.


This course provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of rapidly emerging public and private sector Zero Waste programs and the key principles that support these programs. The course also provides tools to help draw together aspects of existing programs and new efforts into community-specific Zero Waste Programs.

The Zero Waste Principles & Practices certification course is a joint undertaking of SWANA and the California Resource Recovery Association. CRRA is dedicated to achieving environmental sustainability in and beyond California through Zero Waste strategies. SWANA, with its work in 45 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.

Content and 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
  • Collections Options
  • Processing Technology Options
  • Managing Organics
  • Public Venues and Challenging Materials
  • Changing Behavior through Education and Outreach
  • Financing and Funding
  • Contracting and Partnerships

The course provides many opportunities for discussion among instructors and participants. It draws on current materials and examples from outside the published manual and engages students in several in-class exercises.

The Zero Waste Principles and Practices Certification is issued jointly by CRRA and SWANA and is administered as part of the SWANA Certification Program recognized throughout the United States and Canada.

Individuals and employers who will benefit from Zero Waste Principles and Practices Certification:

  • Municipal and tribal recycling and solid waste professionals

  • Recycling and solid waste services providers

  • Consultants and contractors serving the recycling sector

  • Business and municipal sustainability professionals

  • Zero Waste and sustainability community advocates

  • Private and public sector policymakers

  • Private/non-profit business sustainability professionals.

This course focuses on developing community-specific Zero Waste plans for reducing, reusing, and recycling materials found in municipal solid waste (MSW) generated from residential, commercial and institutional sources.

For updates and news on upcoming classes, join our mailing list.


2021 Courses hosted by CRRA:

MAY 23-27, 2022 ONLINE