Defra is evaluating the potential for greater electronic tracking of waste, building on the voluntary Edoc scheme which has not been generally embraced.
The Discovery project is looking at how the current paper-based system of waste transfer notes (WTNs) can be simplified to deliver benefits throughout the waste supply chain.
Edoc was launched by the Environment Agency nearly four years ago as a free alternative to WTNs. Last year, the agency announced a similar scheme, HazDoc, for the movement of hazardous materials. It is currently promoting a survey to test industry views.
The response to Edoc has been lukewarm in some quarters, notably from larger waste managers which have invested in their own sophisticated systems which do not necessarily synchronise into Edoc. They argue it would add to their costs with little gain.
There has also been concern that such independent systems also hold commercially confidential data that the companies would not want in a public domain.
The Discovery project started in October and is expected to be completed in March 2018.
Reasons for good quality data are said to include:
- better compliance
- reduced reporting for businesses
- increasing businesses’ knowledge of wastes
- smarter future analysis