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Landfill operator certification

Chapter NR 524, Wisconsin Administrative Code was created as authorized by ss. 289.06, 289.42, and 227.11 (2), Wis. Stats., which contain the requirements for the department to develop a program of certification for persons participating in, or responsible for, the operation of solid waste disposal facilities.

Prior to being issued a Interim, Site Operator or Facility Manager certification, applicants must pass a check on their social security number. Individuals with unpaid taxes or child support will not be issued a certification. For more information, visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue website.

  1. Facility manager
    • Examination: Yes (score 70% or better)
    • Experience required: two years (documented) - Submit Form 4400–180 found on the forms webpage. Refer to these guidelines for more information.
    • Exam fee: $200
    • Duration of certification: two years
  2. Site operator
    • Examination: Yes (score 70% or better)
    • Exam Fee: $200
    • Duration of certification: two years
  3. Interim facility manager/interim site operator
    • Examination: No
    • Application: Yes — Submit Form 4400-181 found on the forms webpage.
    • Fee: $150
    • Duration of certification: one year
  4. Interim facility and site operator certifications are provided temporarily to personnel while waiting for a scheduled certification exam or in special circumstances where a designated certified facility manager or site operator is unable to perform duties under ch. NR 524, Wis. Adm. Code. This certification is not eligible to be renewed. Please see s. NR 524.10, Wis. Adm. Code for more information.

To become a certified facility manager or site operator, you must pass an exam. Study guides are available to help you prepare:

For more information, visit the exams web page.

A score of 70% or higher is a passing score on each exam. Operators will receive written notice of their exam results within 60 days after the exam date. Applicants who have failed a written exam may apply to re–take the exam. There is no restriction regarding the number of times an applicant may take the exam.

Interim operator application fee
$150 Interim Fee
Site operator certification
$200 exam fee
Facility manager certification
$200 exam fee
Certification renewal
Site operator $150 (every two years) or $250 if renewal is postmarked after the certificate expiration date.
Facility manager $150 (every two years) or $250 if renewal is postmarked after the certificate expiration date.
There is no renewal option available for an interim operator. An interim certification is valid for 12 months and cannot be renewed or re-issued under the same certification level.
Renew on time! Late renewals received without the late penalty fee will be rejected and returned delaying the renewal process.
Incidental costs
Continuing education class fees (varies)

Ch. NR 524, Wis. Adm. Code requires an operator to earn continuing education credits in order to maintain an active certification. This continuing education requirement is designed to help you keep current on new requirements and technical innovations. Continuing education also assists in acquiring additional knowledge and skills.

Certified Facility Managers and Site Operator are required to obtain continuing education credits during the term of certification.

  • Facility managers need8 hours of continuing education every two years
  • Site operators need4 hours of continuing education every two years

View the "Training" tab to search for solid waste and landfill course offerings.

Those who want to renew their certificate need to electronically submit the Operator Training Report Form, found on the training web page. Once the training is uploaded, it will display on an operator's Training History Report. This report is found on the Operator Certification Look-up Website. Operators must then pay the certification renewal fee of $150.00. The renewal fee payment must have the operator's name and certification number in the memo line to correctly apply the payment. Payment, in the form of a check or cash, must be submitted directly to the Operator Certification Program.

How to track certifications

Several features of the Operator Certification Program facilitate tracking of certifications:

  • The Operator Certification Look-up webpage, which is found on the Operator Certification Program homepage. Located on the Look-up website are operators' Training History Report and a wallet card.
  • The renewal reminder letter mailed approximately 6 weeks prior to a certification expiring. Renewal reminder letters are strictly a courtesy and are mailed to last known address saved in the Operator Certification Program's database.
  • The certificate mailed to operators after they pass an exam or renew, which listed the certification type, expiration date, and required number of credits for renewal.

Note: Operators should notify the Operator Certification Program of any change of mailing or email address. Operators may either include updated contact information with their renewal materials or email with the name and certification number of the person whose contact information is being submitted. Notifying other DNR programs of contact information changes will not update an operator's profile in the Operator Certification Program's database.

To renew, electronically submit the Operator Training Report forms to and mail the renewal fee to:

Wisconsin DNR
Landfill Operator Certification EAS/7
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707–7921

The Training Form and payment must be submitted on or before the expiration date of the operators' certificate. Any renewal materials submitted after the expiration date must also include the $100 penalty fee. Once a certification expires, operators are not permitted to legally operate.

If a certificate expires, operators are given six months to renew a lapsed certification. Operators are NOT considered to be certified operators during a lapse of certification. If a certification is not renewed within that six-month period, they must re–take the written exam to become recertified. Operators may not renew their certificate by taking certification examinations unless their certificate has been expired for at least six months.

Acceptance of continuing education documentation by the department will be based on its relevance to solid/hazardous waste, landfill operations, health and safety training while performing landfill operation duties, landfill management issues and landfill design and construction. On–site work meetings and training sessions may also be submitted as continuing education.

For additional training and event opportunities, visit the Operator Certification Program Training Calendar or contact:

Landfill contacts

  Coordinator name
Operator certification program coordinator Taylor Schutz
Statewide Locate your area contact.