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Need to Know

NWRA Releases White Paper on Workforce Challenges in Waste and Recycling Industry


Arlington, VA – The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) has released its white paper, Solutions to the Waste & Recycling Industry’s Growing Driver/Worker Shortage. The waste and recycling industry has experienced a growing shortage of employees possessing the required technical skills for driving and operating equipment over the past several years.

“The workforce challenges facing our industry existed well before COVID-19,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “It is becoming more difficult to find qualified applicants. This white paper seeks to help identify policies and programs that might help attract more skilled men and women to our industry.”

Within the next five years, the solid waste collection industry will have 14,000 new jobs for collection drivers and helpers, 1,900 new jobs for diesel service technicians and mechanics, and 300 new jobs for welders. NWRA supports apprenticeship programs and incentives that help expedite the training and licensure of qualified applicants.

NWRA White Papers are issued to NWRA members for their use in advocacy efforts at the local, state, and federal levels.

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