U.S. Department of Labor Approves Apprenticeship Program for Waste and Recycling Industry

U.S. Department of Labor Approves Apprenticeship Program for Waste and Recycling Industry 

Arlington, VA – The U.S. Department of Labor approved an apprenticeship program submitted by the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and FastPort. The program will help NWRA member companies hire and train waste collection drivers throughout the country by establishing a nationally recognized credential for a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

“The waste and recycling industry is not immune to the driver shortage facing the nation,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “We applaud the administration for taking these steps to increase the pool of eligible drivers.”

Driving for the industry offers numerous advantages such as rising wages, a five-day workweek, set daily work schedules and the ability to return home at the end of each day’s shift, unlike long-haul drivers. Despite all this, our industry’s companies are increasingly struggling to find enough CDL drivers.

NWRA backs increasing federal support for programs at the federal, state and local levels to address the hiring challenges facing the waste and recycling industry due to shortages of commercial vehicle drivers. The waste and recycling industry has experienced a growing labor shortage over the past several years, particularly when it comes to hiring individuals with a CDL. The private sector waste and recycling industry has a commercial motor vehicle fleet of more than 100,000 waste, recycling and compost collection trucks and an even greater number of CDL drivers.

If you are interested in participating in the program, please contact Kirk Sander at ksander@wasterecycling.org.


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