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Landfill Operators Certification Training

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 TN 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 on March 23-26, 2020 in the central Tennessee area. In addition, TDEC provides an eight-hour training opportunity each fall for certified landfill operators, typically at Henry Horton State Park in Chapel Hill, TN.
  • TDEC's landfill operators certification training program consists of three (3) days of classroom instruction (including a field exercise) 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.

Continued Training Opportunities for Landfill Operators

TDEC recognizes the following training opportunities for a Certified Landfill Operator to obtain the 24 hours required for re-certification:

  • The second day of the 30 hour LOCT certification course conducted by the Division of Solid Waste Management in the spring each year. This provides 8 hours of credit. 
  • The 8-hour Landfill Operators Continuing Education class for certified landfill operators conducted by the Division of Solid Waste Management each year in October. 
  • The Solid Waste Sessions held at the Tennessee Environmental Network Show of the South each spring. 
  • 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 website:
  • Level I Recertification - Tennessee Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Program. Recertification training course information can be obtained on
  • The State Uniform Inspection Training Program for 8-hours of continuing education credit while learning basic skills to help with landfill inspections and the associated regulations, including an explanation of regulatory requirements and what would constitute a violation of the regulations.


When you have completed all 24 hours of training required prior to certification expiration, DSWM will send you an invoice for your recertification fee and prompt you to submit the required paperwork.

Re-certification packets must include both forms, a copy of valid photo ID, and a copy of your invoice with a check or money order or receipt from an online payment by credit card. If you did not receive an invoice, contact Rebekah Poston at or call 615-532-0845. Completed re-certification packets must be mailed:

Attn: Rebekah Poston
TDEC Division of Solid Waste Management
WRS Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L Parks  Ave, 14th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243

TDEC is now able to accept online payments for renewing LOCT certification!  Note: Payment does not ensure re-certification. Landfill operators must still reapply for re-certification and complete all 24 hours of required training prior to certification expiration.