The Waste Transfer Note (WTN) system called edoc has been developed over the past four years by the Environment Agency (EA) in partnership with Government bodies and the UK waste sector. 

The main benefit of the new system is the time, cost and administrative burden savings it will drive compared with the current system, according to the EA.

Businesses will be able to create, share, edit, sign and record all waste transfers electronically. And, according to estimates, it could save authorities up to £1m a year by negating the need for costly business waste surveys. 

Environment Agency edoc programme manager Chris Deed said: “We estimate that UK businesses currently create some 23m waste transfer notes every year.  

“With the legal requirement to keep documentary evidence for at least two years, that’s potentially 50m pieces of paper in storage somewhere across the country at any one time.   We’re really encouraged by the response we’ve had to edoc so far. 

“It’s not a mandatory system, but the level of interest shows that businesses want to use it.  We believe edoc will become the default option for most companies, and has the potential to move 80% of waste transfer records online over time.”

Several of the large waste management businesses and representatives from Morgan Sindall, BPI, The British Council, Eco-Oil, Elite Furniture Ltd and Premier Print and Promotions are among those looking at how they could benefit from switching to edoc. 

Speaking about edoc, cleaning and waste management specialist Helistrat chief executive Bernard Amos said: “The edoc system is a brilliant idea and I’d encourage all companies to take it up. More and more we are moving towards paper-free ways of doing business and this makes perfect sense. It’s quicker, easier to trace and will help prevent fraud by removing the opportunity for people to take advantage of the revenue from waste.

“It will also be hugely time-saving. We have well over a quarter of a million paper WTNs that we have to scan and it will save our teams a great deal of time when it all goes electronic.”

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) supported the launch of the Environment Agency’s Electronic Duty of Care (edoc) system for the sector. ESA director general Barry Dennis said: “ESA is pleased to have supported the development of the Environment Agency’s edoc programme.

“We believe that the new online system will offer real benefits to waste & resource managers, as well as waste producers. We therefore urge every UK business that produces or handles business waste to adopt the online system that goes live today.

“Edoc will transform the way business records what happens to the waste they produce, or handle, by reducing administrative costs and burden and improving data quality; as well as reducing the ability to falsify paperwork and increasing controls to discourage illegal waste management.”

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Liz Gyekye





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