Feedback is being collected by Defra with regard to easing the Waste Transfer Note (WTN) system for businesses that do not make use of electronic reporting.
It is estimated by the department that up to 80% of WTNs will be issued through the Electronic Duty of Care (edoc) system after it is introduced in January 2014.
The department suggests that a written description of waste on documentation other than a WTN, such receipts, orders and invoices can be provided by the “minority of businesses” that carry on using the traditional paper based system.
As part of the Government’s initiative to reduce the burden of unnecessary regulations on businesses, the Red Tape Challenge the consultation follows the proposals on environmental issues that were put forward in March 2012.
“The Red Tape Challenge stated that it is burdensome for some small businesses to fill in WTNs,” said Defra. “In response the Government is proposing greater flexibility around WTNs.”
The consultation was welcomed by Chris Deed, the Environment Agency’s Edoc programme manager, stating that it helped towards highlighting the benefits of using the electronic system.
“The whole ethos behind Edoc is to create a simple, cost-effective means for businesses to comply with the duty of care for waste. Millions of individual business waste transfers are recorded every year, using up paper and taking up costly space, not to mention the administrative headache of filing, storing and searching for individual records if they are need.”
Companies are being asked what encouragement would persuade them to move to edoc. By reducing the time and effort to create, store and retrieve WTNs, edoc is estimated to provide savings of £7.8 – £13.4m a year.
Other proposals include adjusting the timeframe in which waste carriers can provide proof that they are registered with environment agencies in the event of being stopped.
To reflect the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act, the inclusion of additional convictions in the list that the agencies use to refuse a waste carrier, broker or dealer registration were also proposed.
The consultation is essentially aimed at people or businesses that receive or transfer controlled waste in Wales and England.
The consultation document in which Defra has published a list of 760 consulters can be found here.
The consultation closes on 20 January 2014.