SWANA has a strong commitment to safety and is determined to help move the waste collection industry off of the federal government’s list of 10 most dangerous jobs and reduce accidents and injuries across the board. The resources available on this page represent part of that effort and will be a resource to the entire Solid Waste industry here in Colorado.

Waste Screening Part One

Solid waste includes a variety of materials generated from all sectors of society.  Since there are large volumes of waste that are generated, many of which may be problematic, governments and individual facilities place restrictions on where certain wastes may be delivered and/ or disposed. As a result, facilities that manage solid wastes must have personal that are properly trained to identify these restricted or prohibited wastes so that human health and the environment may be protected.    SWANA has developed a Waste Screening Training. It is a comprehensive waste screening operations manual detailing the following topics with supplemental images, graphs and examples for participants to discuss.

The course consists of lecture, class activities, and exercises. This comprehensive manual details the following topics with supplemental images, graphs, examples and exercises. It serves as an on the job reference.

-Waste Types to Screen and Prevent From Entering an MSW Disposal Facility

– Fundamentals of Waste Screening

-Practical elements of Waste Screening

-Equipment and Facilities

-Handling Unacceptable Wastes

-Sample Random Load Checking Program

-Glossary and List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

 Waste Screening Part Two

What is waste screening? Waste screening is reducing or eliminating toxic, hazardous, or otherwise prohibited wastes from a landfill.  SWANA feels that you should have a waste screening program in place. The goal is to reduce the amount of these wastes that are transferred or disposed of.  The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) had a few goals in mind. One of the goals we will be focusing on is to protect human health and the environment from hazardous threats posed by waste disposal.

Knowing who your generators are will help you with your waste screening plan. You will see many different types of waste during your screening process, such as bloodborne pathogens, radioactive waste, asbestos, batteries, liquids, ash, compressed gases, septage, and electronic waste.  All these different types of waste have different safety protective measures. Whether your landfill accepts these materials or not, you still need to have the proper safety procedures in place to protect employees because you never know what may enter your landfill. If you need help developing your procedures you can contact other landfills or visit the SWANA website.

Below are some other topics to think about:

Provide a safe, temporary storage for unacceptable waste, like secondary containment, security, ventilation, fire-resistant construction.

Unacceptable waste spill procedures.

Decontamination of exposed personnel.

We did not go into too much detail and the reason being is that every landfill operates differently and you need to set your plans up the way it works for you.  Hopefully, this will help you improve your landfill operations

[blank text]

Are you willing to take the Safety Wild Challenge???


Hello my name is Aaron Byrne and I am the Solid Waste director here in Summit County Colorado. I have been fortunate to work in the Solid Waste industry for 14 years and have a great TEAM that I have had the privilege to work with, including all of the amazing folks in this industry I have met along the way. There have been many lessons learned over the years, some easier than others, but always finding ways we can all improve operations including keeping our workers safe. The Solid Waste industry has evolved into something I don’t think most people really have a good clear understanding of; how this occupation has surged over the last 10 – 20 years. Even though we live in a tough economy, there always seems to be more demand on programs in our field of expertise. It has been ENCOURAGING to me that safety programs have developed nationally as well as right here in Colorado. Many folks on the front lines dedicate their time and commitment within the Solid Waste Industry to provide this ULTILITY and SERVICE to accommodate the ever growing population of 5.474 million people in our awesome home state of Colorado.

As many of you know, SWANA – Solid Waste Association of North America has been one of the organizations on the front lines in our industry leading the way and being the voice and resource in many aspects across the nation This year SWANA has put more emphasis on SAFTEY related topics in this rapid growing industry and has assigned Safety Ambassadors to each chapter across the nation. Cathy Hall, Pitkin County’s Solid Waste Manager, will also be assisting me during this challenge as we utilize our resources and develop useful tools in helping our industry become a safer place for everyone involved. In our efforts it will be important to focus on ways and how we can be a resource in helping reduce accidents in the Solid Waste industry including everyone right here in Colorado.

Colorado SWANA Chapter has adopted the SAFETY WILD CHALLENGE!!!

We will be covering Safety topics related to our industry that may directly apply to you and your operation or business each month. Are you committed and up for the Challenge???

Our goal is to identify areas that can be improved and find solutions to keep our co-workers in the work place safe by developing awareness in these areas.

It is also important to all of us at the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Colorado SWANA to commend all of you for the hard work you have put into your programs. Moving forward, hopefully you find ways to incorporate our safety topics into your operations and find them beneficial to you and your staff. We thank you for all of your service and are excited to be a resource for you in the future.

Thank you,

Colorado SWANA Safety Ambassadors

Aaron Byrne and Cathy Hall