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Electronic waste tracking trial begun by Environment Agency

The Environment Agency : 05 June, 2009  (Company News)
The UK's Environment Agency has begun a scheme for tracking electronic waste in an attempt to reduce waste crime and fly tipping
The Environment Agency has begun a pilot project that allows business and industry to electronically track the collection, transfer and final destination of their waste - to help clamp down on fly-tipping.

As part of the Waste Crime Innovation Programme (WCIP), the three-month Electronic Duty of Care trial is being run by six waste companies in South-East England, using mobile computer technology and a web-based tracking system to create and maintain electronic Waste Transfer Notes (WTNs).

Environment Agency WCIP Project Manager, Paul Keay, said moving from paper to electronic WTNs should improve the quality of data collected, ensure waste producers can easily track their waste and help waste carriers better fulfil their Duty of Care obligations.

"Waste Transfer Notes are vital in tracking waste from collection right through to disposal," Mr Keay said.

"Most waste carriers still complete and store paper Waste Transfer Notes, but the Electronic Duty of Care trial will enable WTNs to be created and maintained electronically using web-hosted software and mobile computer handsets. This should make the process simpler, faster, and more accurate.

"With commercial, industrial and construction waste data collected electronically - including tonnage, type of waste, place of origin and destination - business and industry will be able to ensure their waste is being recycled and disposed of legally - reducing the risk of fly tipping and providing increased protection for the environment."

"In addition, it should provide the Environment Agency with data that helps identify new recycling opportunities."

Two large, two medium and two small waste companies are involved in the Electronic Duty of Care trial, with between 5-20 waste vehicles at each company aiming to electronically capture up to 100 WTNs per week. This will allow the Environment Agency to evaluate how the mobile computer technology could be used by waste carriers of all sizes.

The Electronic Duty of Care project should also help to deliver business benefits to waste companies, including: removing the need to store paper WTNs, speeding up invoicing and capturing electronic signatures to provide proof of collection and delivery to waste.

The Environment Agency will run a second trail phase with a wider take-up of companies, should the initial trial be successful. Industry and other regulators have been invited to join an advisory board to ensure the benefits of the pilot are maximised.

The Electronic Duty of Care pilot project is funded by Defra and managed by the Environment Agency, with Codegate Ltd being awarded the contract through a competitive tender processed. Codegate Ltd will supply its "mobileworker" workforce automation software and the hardware to be carried by waste vehicle drivers.
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