What is NWRA?

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) is the leading voice of the North American waste and recycling industry on advocacy, education and safety. The industry provides essential services that benefit our local communities and businesses by assisting our customers in achieving their environmental and sustainability aspirations.

Association members operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and can be found in most, if not all, U.S. congressional districts. Waste and recycling facilities number nearly 18,000 scattered throughout the U.S., mirroring population centers. Our nearly 700 members are a mix of publicly-traded and privately owned local, regional and Fortune 500 national and international companies. NWRA represents approximately 70 percent of the private sector waste and recycling market.

NWRA members:

  • Collect, process and manage waste, recyclables, organics and medical waste
  • Operate and manage landfills in compliance with all federal and state laws
  • Manage and service truck fleets and collection vehicles
  • Design, manufacture, sell and service equipment and supplies
  • Provide engineering and consulting services

The solid waste industry directly employs about 450,000 people as of mid-2019 with a total payroll of more than $28 billion. It is estimated that the private sector waste and recycling industry accounts for more than one million jobs and generates nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars in U.S. GDP. The industry’s publicly-traded companies are among the largest components of the Dow Jones U.S. Waste & Disposal Index (DJUSPC).

NWRA convenes a number of institutes that provide leadership on landfills, recycling and healthcare waste. Our Safety Committee provides insights and best practices to prevent injuries to industry workers, and the Association serves as Secretariat for the American Standards Committee Z245 for Equipment Technology and Operations for Wastes and Recyclable Materials. We also collaborate with our partner Informa on WasteExpo, North America’s largest waste and recycling exposition and conference. Our educational offerings are known and respected around the world.

Founded in 1962 as the National Council of Refuse Disposal Trade Associations, the Association went through name changes and mergers before becoming the National Waste & Recycling Association in 2013.

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) understands that demand for recycled materials is critical to ensuring a circular economy and for recycling to be sustainable over the long term. Strong demand for post-consumer plastic resin (PCR) keeps the resin in circulation—conserving resources, reducing the use of raw materials and driving efficiencies. We seek to improve recycling in the U.S. by making efforts to ensure the increased use of PCR.