Zero Waste Principles and Practices Certification

This program is issued jointly by CRRA and SWANA and is administered as part of the SWANA Certification Program recognized throughout the United States and Canada.


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.

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.


2019 Courses hosted by CRRA:

May 13-15, 2019 - Oceanside - 

August 11-13, 2019 - Rancho Mirage

October 8-10, 2019  -Oakland




Upcoming events

    • 13 Apr 2020
    • 12 Oct 2020
    • 3 sessions
    • Conference Call

    Construction and Demolition Technical Council Monthly Call

    Calls are held quarterly on the 2nd Monday of the month, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. Call-in details provided after registration.

    For more details on the TC, please visit


    • 16 Aug 2020
    • 19 Aug 2020

    CRRA Annual Conference & Trade Show  *  August 16 -19, 2020

    Each year, the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) organizes one of the most comprehensive and informative conferences dedicated to resource management issues in California and beyond. CRRA is well known for its training and educational offerings since the early 1970s. The Annual Conference and Trade Show attracts over 600 individuals annually and showcases an estimated 30 sessions each year with over 100 industry experts as presenters.

    Important Dates:

    • May 31, 2020 – Early Bird Deadline
    • July 27, 2020 - Last day to purchase online and pay by check (check must be received in our offices no later than July 27, 2020)
    • July 27, 2020 – Last day to purchase online
    • August 16-19, 2020– Onsite registration, subject to a $50 on-site processing fee (not including special events)


    Join today - become a member and save!

    Members receive a discount on CRRA Annual Conference registration rates, as well as discounts to many other industry events (to receive the discount, you must first join CRRA and then log in to receive member conference rates).  Click here for membership details.


    • Send written cancellation requests to California Resource Recovery Association, 915 L Street, Suite C-216, Sacramento, CA 95814 or by email to Cancellation requests will not be accepted by phone.  
    • Cancellations requests received by June 1, 2020 will receive a 100% refund, less a $50 per person processing fee. 
    • Cancellation requests received between June 2 and by June 30, 2020 will receive a 50% refund, less a $50 per person processing fee. 
    • Cancellations requests received after June 30, 2020 will not be refunded. 
    • “No shows” will not be refunded.  
    • Cancellation reimbursement payments will be processed four to six weeks after August 19, 2020. 
    • Substitutions are allowed. If substituting a non-member for a member registration, non-member rate increase will apply.


    • Payments by check for Early Bird rates must be received and/or postmarked by May 31, 2020 to receive Early Bird discounted pricing. Registration will not be complete when payments of Early Bird rates are received after May 31, until payment in full at the applicable rate is received.
    • Payments by check must be received in our offices by July 27, 2020 to ensure registration will be complete and conference credentials provided at the event.  
    • Registration is not guaranteed and conference credentials may be withheld when payment by check is received after July 27, 2020; payment in full by credit card may be required at time of check-in to obtain conference credentials.
    • Registration is not guaranteed and conference credentials may be withheld until payment in full is provided; payment in full by credit card may be required at time of check-in to obtain conference credentials.


    • Membership dues must be paid in full at time of purchase to receive the Membership discount.  
    • Conference credentials will not be provided until registration fees have been received in full (as well as any membership dues, if applicable).
    • All past due monies and balance due from previous CRRA events must be paid in full, to receive Conference credentials.
    • Conference registrations may be transferred or substituted in whole upon written request. Please contact us for details.
    • Conference registration is for one named individual and may not be “shared” between multiple individuals.
    • Full-Conference Rates include all plenary and panel sessions, receptions, tours and on-site meals.
    • Tours, while included in registration, are available on a first-come, first-reserved basis. A wait list will be available.


    Who are CRRA Exhibitors? Environmental consultants, non-profit groups, composting companies, refuse/recycling haulers and processors, equipment suppliers, and other professionals engaged in the many facets of resource management in California.

    Why Become an Exhibitor? CRRA is proud to be among the leaders of a vision of sustainability in and beyond California. CRRA was the first state recycling organization and continues as a strong voice for zero waste strategies. As a CRRA exhibitor, you introduce your company or organization to CRRA’s diverse community of local, regional and state government officials, recycling and composting industry representatives, and allied organizations. 

    Floor Plan coming soon!

    MEALS - Please note: we provide the following meals for registered attendees: continental breakfast on  August 17, 18 & 19 and lunch on August 18 & 19, 2020 only. Only individuals registered for the conference have access to the dining area.

    SPECIAL ACCESS - For questions about accessibility or to request special access accommodations please contact Despina M. Kreatsoulas ( or 916-441-2772, ext 2). Two weeks advance notice will allow us to provide seamless access.

    • 17 Aug 2020
    • 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM
    • ROOM TBD
    • 68


    Monday - August 17, 2020

    (held in conjunction with the CRRA Annual Conference)

    Are you new to the industry, and looking to make connections with other professionals, both peers and mentors? Are you an industry veteran, and looking for opportunities to impart your wisdom to the next generation?

    All Young Professionals as well as NEW TO INDUSTRY professionals of any age who are new to the waste management and prevention industry, are welcome to attend the Networking & Speed Mentoring Event on Monday, August 17, 2020.

    What is Speed Mentoring?
    Young and New-to-Industry Professionals will rotate around the room to different round-table meetings, getting opportunities to speak with mentors working in many different aspects of our industry, including product stewardship, waste prevention, reuse, recycling and composting. Learn more about CRRA, technical councils, and opportunities to stay connected even after leaving the conference. Make sure to bring your business cards!

 California Resource Recovery Association   915 L Street, Suite C-216   Sacramento, CA 95814  (916) 441-2772>>

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