NWRA and SWANA Reissue Guidance on Municipal Collection Contracts

NWRA and SWANA Reissue Guidance on Municipal Collection Contracts

Includes Information on Changing Markets Due to China’s Waste Import Restrictions 

Arlington, VA – Today, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) reissued their Joint Advisory on Designing Contracts for Processing of Municipal Recyclables, which is now updated to include a preface about how China’s waste import restrictions have affected the market for recyclable materials.

“In 2015, NWRA and SWANA first issued this document with the intent of providing professionals in our industry with a tool to achieve best practices in contracting for recycling processing. As our industry responds to China’s efforts to curb imports of recyclables, NWRA and SWANA believe an updated document reflecting the current market conditions will be useful to our members,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith.

The reissued document reflects the need for North American recycling programs and providers to re-examine their current practices and investigate new processing systems, implement contamination reduction methods and revise program guidelines for acceptable materials.

“We think it is important that recyclers address overall program sustainability and not just blame China’s import restrictions for our current challenges,” said Sara Bixby, SWANA deputy executive director. “Anything that we can do in the United States and Canada to reduce contamination and improve our partnerships will also help develop and support recycling markets in North America. That makes all of our programs stronger.”

To guide solid waste and recycling professionals on protocols and standards regarding contracting for the processing of municipal recyclables, the updated report is available for public download to ensure information on best practices is available throughout the industry.

SWANA and NWRA have partnered on many initiatives to respond to the current market disruption in the wake of China’s waste import restrictions, including advocacy for recycling funding in Congress’ Infrastructure Bill and meetings with key organizations and nonprofits to identify industry opportunities.


The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. For more than 50 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses. For more information, visit SWANA.org.

Brandon Wright
National Waste and Recycling Association

Sara Swanson
Marketing Coordinator, SWANA