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SWANA Engaged to Develop Training for Tribal Solid Waste Professionals

October 30, 2023

SWANA and Northern Arizona University’s Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) have been engaged by the Indian Health Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to improve the technical, managerial, and financial capacity of tribal solid waste programs in the United States.

The government recognizes that tribal environmental program staff need exposure to a diverse range of training to develop competencies to safely operate, maintain, and manage solid waste facilities and programs.

In the first phase of this work, SWANA and ITEP are developing the foundational framework for two certificate programs – one for solid waste operators, another for solid waste managers. Our collaboration includes meeting with tribal solid waste professionals to identify the basic competencies needed by operators and managers in a variety of solid waste management areas.

From there, SWANA and ITEP will identify the appropriate number of trainings and development hours for ideal exposure to core competency concepts and create a list of trainings currently in existing SWANA, ITEP, or other catalogs that support the development of the core competencies.

This special project furthers SWANA’s ongoing commitment to improving tribal solid waste practices and programs. Past efforts have included providing technical support to the Oglala Sioux Tribe; building an integrated solid waste management systems course for tribal nations; and, most recently, delivering zero waste training to the Owens Valley Indian Water Commission.

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