Has the traditional paper-based Waste Transfer Note had its day?
Reconomy's Brian Marshall examines the existing Waste Transfer Note process and looks at the investment currently being undertaken in EDOC, the Electronic Duty of Care system being developed by the Environment Agency and its partner organisations.
The Environment Agency estimates that approximately 25 million waste transfer notes are produced in the UK each year with around 50 million paper documents being stored at any one time due to UK legislation surrounding waste transfer notes.
EDOC is the Electronic Duty of Care programme, led by the Environment Agency in partnership with Reconomy, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) the Welsh Government (WG) the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and DEFRA. The project aims to deliver an online waste tracking system to replace the present cumbersome paper-based Waste Transfer Note system.
Reconomy, as the leading broker of outsourced waste management and recycling services in the UK, was invited to join the panel of experts to provide a commercial focus to the project, which aims to produce a national database that allows users to upload data directly to it, enabling the monitoring of waste flows throughout the UK.
The EDOC system would fill a major gap in knowledge within the waste industry, providing a platform for the production of a real-time, accurate, benchmarking baseline of waste together with in-depth reporting of information on the UK's waste data such as disposal and treatment methods and waste streams.
One of the major drivers for the EDOC project is to scale up to a national level, something that the Reconomy Portal achieves at a company level, by providing meaningful data on a wide range of different waste streams that can be analysed by both regulators, producers and all waste management companies alike. This data can be used to address trends within the industry to assess whether existing disposal methods are fit for purpose, provide opportunities for waste management companies and allow focused campaigns to reduce waste at source for problematic or high-volume waste streams.
EDOC is currently in its early stages with the recent completion of a successful pilot scheme, principally in the southeast region, with over a dozen companies taking part. The project commenced in January 2011 and will run through to completion in December 2014.
Some of the key project milestones are as follows:
September 2011 - Determination of stakeholder's requirements for building and testing the national system
September 2012 - National Electronic Duty of Care system will be fully designed and specified
September 2013 - National Electronic Duty of Care system to be built and tested (evaluated by stakeholders) with functionality to map the following:
• Quality of waste types produced over time
• Quality of waste produced by location
• Source, quality, treatment and disposal methods for each waste type
September 2014 - Suite of demonstration materials, resources and training tools will be rolled out to encourage participation in the UK