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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:

·   TDEC's landfill operators’ certification training program (LOCT) 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.

· Per Rule 0400-11-01-.12(1)(c)8; TDEC will honor other State’s certification programs and similar 3rd party private certifications upon being shown evidence that the course content meets or exceeds Tennessee LOCTs criteria.  


Upcoming Training

·  In effort to protect the regulated community and those of our staff we postponed the March 2020 Landfill Operator Certification Training (LOCT) during the onset of the global Covid-19 crisis. Now that a vaccine is becoming more available, we are preparing to provide this training that we believe is more beneficial in an in-person environment.

The Initial 30-hr course and certification examination will be on June 8-11, 2021 at Montgomery Bell State Park, in Burns, TN.

o   We will still be taking steps to meet social distancing guidelines and expect that facemasks may still be required. We will have large room space and hand-sanitizing stations available, but we will have a strict limit of 110 spaces for registration; therefore, pre-registration is required. Absolutely, no walk-ins will be allowed. At the time we postponed the 2020 class we had 61 registrants. These individuals will be automatically enrolled in the 2021 class. Due to staff changes at many facilities Rebekah Poston will contact each group or individual to ensure any substitutions or corrections to the registration list are made.

o   We will continue to monitor the Covid-19 crisis. On April 1, 2021 if significant improvement in reducing the number of Covid-19 cases has not occurred and we have to continue to follow executive order guidance to not have large gatherings we will make a decision to provide the training in an alternative format.

o    We will not be open to new registrations until April 1, 2021. At that time, we will also be able to provide a full agenda.

o    The cost of the 30-hour course is $400 (which includes class material, and most meals).


Continued Training Opportunities for Landfill Operators

Landfill operator certification is valid for 3 years from the date of issuance.  During those 3 years, certified operators must attend 24 hours of Department approved training, or they must retake the 3 -day certification training.  TDEC recognizes the following training opportunities for a Certified Landfill Operator to obtain the 24 hours required for re-certification:

·  One of the days of instruction in the 30-hour course scheduled for June 8-11, 2021 will be designated for those requiring 8-hr CEUs for re-certification.  Registration for this day will be made available on April 1, 2021.

·  The 8-hour Landfill Operators Continuing Education class for certified landfill operators conducted by the Division of Solid Waste Management. This course is $199 per person. Once complete you will receive an invoice for payment. When the payment is verified your LOCT Course Completion will be updated.

·   Tennessee Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Training and Certification and Re-Certification Program (includes Level I certification and Level II certification training classes). Training course information can be obtained from the following website: Submit your training certificate to Jerry Branham or Rebekah Poston to receive credit.

·  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.

·  Either TDEC’s Environmental Media sampling and Analysis (EMSAT) or Soil Sampling and Analysis Training 

· Any CEU course providing a certificate or completion report from SWANA, TWSDA, CTAS, or other relevant training from 3rd parties or environmental conferences may be submitted for consideration.


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. If you had a valid certificate on March 13, 2021 when the Covid-19 crisis began will we honor your certificate and work with you to obtain CEU hours for re-certification. Any certificate expired prior to that date will require the recipient to re-take the initial 3—hour LOCT course. 

· “EVEA” form - Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Attestation form (CN-1497)
   (An “EVEA” form with valid ID must accompany all applications.)

Re-certification packets must include the form, 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. 



Jerry Branham


This Page Last Updated: February 18, 2021 at 3:16 PM