Nine months on from the launch of edoc – the innovative online system for recording waste transfers – is receiving positive comments. As expected with any new system some misconceptions have emerged. The edoc team at the Environment Agency wants to help you understand what you need to know about edoc.

Developed by the Environment Agency in partnership with the waste sector and government bodies from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, edoc provides businesses with a quick, easy and cost effective way of completing and recording the transfer of non-hazardous waste between organisations.

Victoria Vaughan-Williams from the edoc team at the Environment Agency said “Since launch in January this year more than 1400 businesses from a variety of different sectors have registered to use the new edoc system.

 “We continue to receive positive feedback about how straightforward the edoc system is to use. Having attended a number of recent industry events we’re also finding we are regularly being asked the same questions. There are some misconceptions out there about how the system works. We want to dispel these myths, and highlight just how simple and effective edoc really is and how it can benefit businesses across the UK.”

Every organisation in the UK is required to comply with their legal duty of care to document the transfer of waste between parties. edoc provides a quick, simple and cheaper alternative to the traditional paper waste transfer notes (WTNs).

Here’s four popular myths about the edoc system you should know about:

1.        You have to pay to use it

Not true: edoc is free to use. Many organisations do not realise that there is no cost attached to using the system. It is free to register and use, and there are no hidden costs tied in to operating it.

2.        Keeping a paper copy of your record will also be necessary

Not true: using edoc means there is no more paper filing with access to your information whenever you need it. All businesses are legally obliged to keep records of their waste transfers for a minimum of two years. So rather than sifting through countless files of paper sitting in your office or worrying about losing paper WTNs or other alternative documents, edoc provides businesses with a history of all waste transfers which can be easily accessed. It also provides a permanent log of all actions performed on a waste record so businesses can track all changes.

3.        A waste regulator, like the Environment Agency, will have unlimited access to edoc

Not true: the current paper based system allows for a waste regulator to carry out audits to ensure compliance with duty of care. edoc is no different and allows a relevant regulatory officer to send a notification in edoc to ask to see your waste transfer records. A business then, as now, has seven days to respond to such a request.

4.        Anyone can see my data in edoc

Not true: your data is protected. The information about the volume and type of waste each organisation transfers is only shared with the parties involved in the transfer of that waste.

National governments and certain trusted organisations such as WRAP have access to anonymised data in edoc. These organisations can see an anonymous and redacted snapshot of all waste transfer records held on edoc at a particular time, to meet statutory reporting requirements and to inform design, implementation and monitoring of waste policy.

You can read more about how data you supply to edoc is controlled and protected in Who can use edoc and how?

Perhaps what you thought were facts about how edoc works are actually myths. So why not realise some of the benefits using edoc can make in your business.

If you are a producer of waste, contact your contractor and see if they are using edoc, indicate your wish to use edoc and encourage them to transfer on-line.