The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) is the voice in the nation’s capital for the private sector waste and recycling industry that is essential to maintaining the quality of American life. The delivery of waste and recycling services impacts all residential, commercial and industrial properties on a daily basis.

Our mission is to provide leadership, advocacy, research, education and safety expertise to promote the waste and recycling industry. NWRA’s goal is to create a favorable business climate where our members can prosper and provide safe, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible services and jobs that benefit communities throughout America.

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.