Planning & Management Organization Award

workers touring a landfill facility

SWANA’s Planning & Management Technical Division (PM) awards an organization that advances the integration of solid waste management principles into an effective and sustainable organization.

Background and Focus of the Award


The integration of solid waste principles is the cornerstone of management in any solid waste organization. Managing municipal solid waste (MSW) facilities according to SWANA’s principles of integrated waste results in a sustainable system. These facilities may be owned or contracted by a municipal entity. Such facilities may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • MSW collection
  • Recycling collection
  • Recycling material recovery
  • Composting facilities
  • Hazardous waste facilities
  • MSW transfer facilities
  • MSW landfills
  • Waste-to-energy facilities

The PM Technical Division award emphasizes integrating these elements into an effective and efficient MSW program operated under the highest standard.


The PM Technical Division focuses on approaches and methods to manage MSW collection, recycling, reuse, and disposal in accordance with principles of integrated solid waste management.

The PM Award entries will be reviewed based on:

  1. The complimentary action to reduce the quantities of solid waste generated and managed in an economically and environmentally sound manner.
  2. The initiatives and steps of local government units (LGUs) to develop comprehensive solid waste management plans for the MSW generated within or imported into the LGU.
  3. Financial and funding initiatives to provide operating and capital funding necessary to develop, operate and maintain the integrated system.
  4. Management of system operations which demonstrate synergies between the various elements of the system.
  5. Demonstrating environmental compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
  6. Public education, outreach and participation in the planning, development and operation of the system.

Award Application Process

Award applications will be reviewed by a team of PM Technical Division members. The division has established the following items by which applications will be evaluated. Organize your application according to the main scoring sections. The final section is used by the judges to evaluate the quality of the application as a whole.

The statements and questions under each section are guidelines for what judges would like to see in each category. You may include other pertinent information. When including documents, you may reduce them in size to fit multiple documents on a page, as long as they are legible, or include a link to a website that contains the requested document.

IMPORTANT: Read all directions carefully. Applications that are unreadable or do not provide required information will be disqualified.

Maximum 100 points

  • All PM Organization Award Applications Must Include These Elements

    • The Integrated System—how elements of the system relate to the region. For example, describe how recycling and waste disposal relate to one another and support the integrated system.
    • The Plan—how the system relates to the solid waste management plan or other local or state requirements
    • Outreach—how outreach is undertaken and integrated into the operations of the system
    • Financial—how the system maximizes efficiencies in delivering services
  • Executive Summary — 5 Points (written)/5 points (video)

    Please provide a written executive summary of no more than 150 words describing your MSW management system. Explain why the organization you are nominating deserves to win an award.

    OPTIONAL: In addition to a written executive summary of no more than 150 words, you may include a link to a video of no more than 120 seconds that tells the story of your MSW management system and its results.

  • System Overview — 20 points

    Describe the facilities and programs in the integrated system and how they are interrelated. Include information on the population served, how they are served by the system and ownership of the elements. If elements are owned by others, how does the ownership relationship contribute to integrated system?

  • System Performance and Integration — 20 points

    How are operations efficiencies measured, and benchmarks to determine how performance goals are met. What are the short- and long-term plans for facilities and programs? How does performance impact the environment and greenhouse gas emissions? How are system elements procured, and how are they managed?

  • Financial, Human Resource, and Business Management — 25 points

    What are your financial plans in terms of rate setting, market share, or other elements? How are employees managed, recognized, and trained to support the organization? Describe the safety program and the injury rates within the system. How has the program changed over the last three years? How does the safety record compare to national rates? How did you overcome them? What do you consider to be your greatest success?

  • Community Relations — 20 points

    Describe your community outreach program. How has it been developed to meet the needs of the population served? How do you evaluate the effectiveness of the outreach program? How has it changed over the last three years and in response to what stimulus? Has there been and any change in user behavior in response to the program?

  • Application Quality — 20 points

    Your application will be judged on its organization and presentation, and on editorial and technical quality.

    (This is a judges category only, not to be addressed in your application)