DEFRA Digital Waste Tracking Consultation Generates Extensive Response

Do you remember the consultation Wiser Social Media channels made you aware of back in January? It was based on a topical issue within the Waste industry. Did you take part? If not, allow us to jog your memory… This DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) consultation was a public opportunity to give feedback on the Implementation of Mandatory Digital Waste Tracking.

There is clearly a very strong and widespread opinion on this matter in the industry because an impressive 713 responses were received to the consultation. Some previous consultations have barely reached the dizzy heights of triple figures, let alone  This may have been because this particular consultation was more widely publicised.  This may have been because this particular consultation was more widely publicised; or because changes to this particular part of our industry, would create disruption to some well established processes and procedures; or because operators are passionate about driving significant improvement in the way we track the collection, reception and transfer of waste. Whatever the reason for the notably enhanced interaction on this consultation, it has got the world of waste talking

The consultation was live from January 21st 2022 until 15th April 2022. The public had 3 months of opportunity to contribute their ideas around the implementation of digital waste tracking. More specifically what waste will be tracked, what information will be recorded and different ways to record the information. The EA now have a couple of months to digest all the responses and have suggested Autumn 2022 will be the date to publish a summary of the consultation.

Here at Wiser, we regularly use online waste management software to not only book waste collections. But also to track tonnage, create monthly reports and record any other relevant information about what we are collecting from our customers.

We have an exciting few weeks ahead of us at Wiser as we also go ‘paperless’ with our consignment notes next month. However, up until this rather revolutionary point, we were also using paper consignment notes. When you consider our collections team can visit between 10-15 customers a day, that is a lot of visits to the stationary shop. We are very much looking forward to the implementation of paperless software. We do not want to feel the inevitable industry fear of being ‘left behind.’ Whilst others are revelling in the success of  technological advances.

It is well acknowledged some waste operators are still successfully and accurately recording their waste intake with a biro and a pukka pad. Without so much as a hint of Tippex in sight for rectifying errors. However, is this method sustainable? Should we be implementing more stringent digital measures for the future of our industry? Arguably, many so called ‘rogue traders’ may also be exposed if it became obligation to record waste activity digitally. It would be a fruitful opportunity to eradicate some of the illegal operators in our industry. Preventing them from disposing dangerous waste irresponsibly and clamping down on inaccurate waste statistics.

Of course, the cost implications of such a potential shift from the norm must have been a consideration to some responding to the consultation. For companies well rehearsed in electronic recording of waste statistics, making the practice compulsory will have little to no impact on day to day expense. For those organisations, of which there are still many, whom share 1 PC purchased in 2001 for the whole site, the outlay is going to considerable to say the least.

We hope that the consultation period has allowed accomplished industry individuals to voice their thoughts. Hopefully, the responses received will have included progressive ideas, sensible planning and considered consequences. Wiser Environment Consultancy and Wiser Recycling will be on hand for advice and guidance for all their existing and new clients, whatever developments occur as a result of the consultation. Currently, if pencil and paper is your chosen method to differentiate between your commercial and clinical waste, grab your sharpener, this approach is accepted, for now!


Digitally tracked? What method do you use to record your waste?

Digitally tracked? What method do you use to record your waste?

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