The national electronic duty of care system – Edoc, a replacement for the current duty of care paper trail, is due to be launched in January 2014. The RWM exhibition in Birmingham gave a good platform to preview this programme to a number of waste management companies, local authority delegates and others.

Edoc is being developed by the Environment Agency, in partnership with CIWM (the Chartered Institution of Waste Management), and is co-financed by the EU LIFE+ programme. It looks to offer an alternative to the existing paper-based waste transfer note system by creating an online document management system that can accessed via a web portal.

It is designed to reduce the administrative costs to businesses that produce a waste transfer note (WTN) for each movement of waste. Currently over 25 million paper-based WTNs are produced each year and need to be stored for at least 2 years. The Edoc system also aims to make it easier for businesses to track their waste and record data by having an online archive whereby WTNs can be easily retrieved for auditing purposes, and by providing email notifications for any actions that are required to complete a WTN.
CIWM chief executive Steve Lee said: “We support the production of Edoc which could replace the need for costly business waste surveys, saving government around £1 million per annum”.
There are, however, some concerns over the fact that paper hazardous waste consignment notes and cross border documents will still need to be produced. When questioned whether a timescale had been considered to include hazardous and cross border waste documentation within the Edoc system, the organisers said that “they would monitor the initial success before considering if it should be rolled out across other areas.”