Electronic Duty of Care (EDoC)

Joseph Ellis      10 July 2014

Around 23.5 million Waste Transfer Notes (WTNs) are currently produced in the UK each year. That’s a lot of paper work. EDoc, launched on the 29th January 2014, is a free, secure, voluntary system that allows the user to:

– Create waste transfer notes and season tickets online and share them between parties.
– Review, edit, sign and store records securely for the requisite two years or longer.
– Receive automatic email notifications when there is a transfer record for the user’s attention.
– See a log of actions performed on a transfer note or season ticket, by whom and when.
– Search, sort and retrieve data quickly and easily.
– Create tailored business reports from waste transfer data.
– Prepare data for waste tonnage returns.
– Use an optional tracking system to see the fate of waste.

It is worth mentioning that EDoc does not allow the recording of hazardous waste consignments and the system is not integrated with waste permit or licence databases. The user is still responsible for ensuring that any business they use to transfer and dispose of waste is authorised to do so.

It is estimated that storing and retrieving a WTN was about £1.22 and that EDoC will save businesses £0.68 in the current estimated costs of hard copy WTNs. This means an expected cost per WTN of just £0.54. More than 50% of this saving comes from the storage and retrieval of WTNs. Overall it is estimated that businesses will save between £7.8m – £13.4m per annum. The data being collected will also enable national governments to build a comprehensive view of the waste being produced by UK businesses, saving a potential £1m a year of public money spent on business waste surveys.

Although EDoC is voluntary, the Environment Agency estimates take up by businesses will cover 80% of waste transfers with targeted communication and other publicity campaigns. The significant cost savings to businesses are expected to be the main driver of this take up rate. There will be transition costs of switching from paper based documentation to EDoC, but these costs of familiarisation with the portal and training of staff are expected to be low. The Environment Agency has created a large document management system that can easily be accessed via a web portal. As well as the online portal, EDoc has been built to enable businesses to link it with their existing waste management systems directly. The new service allows any UK company involved in the production, collection, transfer or disposal of waste to use EDoC. It will save these companies time, money and resources making the ‘Duty of Care’ a far less administrational and burdensome process. EDoc has brought the way businesses create, share, review, edit, sign and store WTNs into the 21st Century.

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