NWRA Hires Former OSHA Chief of Staff to Lead Industry Safety Initiatives 

NWRA Hires Former OSHA Chief of Staff to Lead Industry Safety Initiatives 

Arlington, VA– The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) announced that Kirk Sander has been named vice president of safety and standards, a newly created position in the Association. Sander served as chief of staff to Dr. David Michaels, the former assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Most recently, he worked in the Government Relations Department of the National Safety Council where he focused on road safety and other areas of national importance.

“As the voice of the waste and recycling industry, we must continue to lead on efforts that make our industry safer, and we, as an industry, must remove ourselves from the top five list of the most dangerous occupations. I am pleased that Kirk will be leading our efforts in reducing fatalities and injuries in the industry. Not only will Kirk bring with him extensive knowledge in safety and accident prevention, but he will also be able to drive success where there is a strong connection to public policy and advocacy,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith.

Sander has been previously employed by the White House, the Department of Interior, Bureau of Safety & Environmental Enforcement and NASA. He possesses a bachelor’s degree in environmental geoscience from Slippery Rock University and a master’s degree in environmental science and policy from the University of South Florida.

“I am ready to help the National Waste & Recycling Association establish and maintain a highly visible safety culture for every employee, and I am proud to be serving in such an important and worthwhile industry. I look forward to learning from the member companies what challenges they are facing and how I can assist in moving the needle toward a safe and healthful working environment. It is important that the employees in our industry go home to their families safely every day,” said Sander.


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.

Brandon Wright
National Waste and Recycling Association