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Standards in the waste management pathway
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Draft Data Standard Documentation

This documents is work in progress

Contributing Authors: Edafe Onerhime

Conventions Used

Words in Bold are important stakeholders, concepts or document for UK business waste. Phases and stages from the DEFRA discovery documents are shown in 'single quotes'.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The KnoWaste Data Standard
  3. How Waste is Managed


The Future of Waste is Smart

#SmartWaste = Tracking + Accountability

The UK as a whole is moving towards sustainability by reducing, re-using and recycling. Each nation seeks to preserve resources, minimise waste, send less to landfill, protect our ecology and make a positive impact on climate change. The future of waste is smart waste, efficiently tracking waste to it’s final destination and accountability for waste throughout it’s lifecycle.

Find out more:

The Future of Waste Accountability

Knowing “Where did my business waste go?”

What do we mean by accountability? That everyone handling waste knows with a high-degree of certainty their responsibilities for handling waste and where their waste ended up

The Future of Waste Tracking

Knowing “Where is my business waste now?”

Efficiently tracking waste is the way to ensure everyone knows where the waste they handled is right now and can follow the journey of waste containers to their final destination.

#SmartWaste means smart use of data

Stitching together the business waste data patchwork

Smart waste means smart use of data to stitch together the patchwork of today’s waste data including returns from permitted sites, voluntary initiatives and one-off surveys. We know from HM Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy for England that waste data is time-consuming, complex to use and doesn’t support effective tacking of waste crime. We know today’s technologies can help make better use of waste data to become a zero waste society.

Open Standards Make Waste Smarter

Fast, easily combined data for tracking & accountability

Among the many technologies that support smarter waste, open standards for data make an excellent starting point. Good quality, timely, easy to access data is essential to support fast, easily combined data for tracking and accountability in waste.

The KnoWaste Data Standard

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Our solution, in collaboration with Dsposal, University of Bradford and Defra is the KnoWaste Data Standard.

The standard has 3 parts:

  • A #SmartWaste standard to handle tracking and auditing of waste holders waste jobs, waste containers
  • An electronic Duty of Care Document for consistent completion of non-hazardous waste documentation
  • An electronic Consignment Note to support consistent completion of hazardous waste documentation

The Case for Unique Identifiers

The secret to making #SmartWaste possible

Identifiers are the most important part of the KnoWaste data standard. These little codes allow us to pinpoint and follow a waste container and a waste job till it reaches a final destination. We can tell when new documentation was raised, when the contents of a waste container was stored, changed or entered landfill. With this data in place, we can take advantage of other technologies to keep track of waste and make auditing easier and faster.

Find out more:

Who & What to Track & Audit

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In UK waste management, waste is produced by a Waste Producer who stores and classifies waste before handing it over to a Waste Processor. The Waste Processor managea waste till it reaches a final site (for example: landfill) or a final state (for example: recycled). Waste comes in Waste Containers and a Waste Job could be for several Waste Containers. If waste is not hazardous, the main document for a ‘Waste Transfer’ is the Duty of Care Document and the Consignment Note is needed for hazardous waste. KnoWaste tracks the organisations and documents shown here.

Important Identifiers alt text

Three key identifiers make tracking waste simpler and easier:

  • Waste Container ID: Tracks a waste container until it is disposed of or changes - for example, aggregated or separated
  • Consignment Note ID: Tracks a hazardous waste job until a new consignment note is created
  • Duty of Care Document ID: Tracks a non-hazardous waste job until a new duty of care note is created

Tracking Waste

Knowing “Where is my business waste now?”

How Waste is Managed

Managing waste means storing waste, transforming it into a non-waste state (for example: recycling) or disposing of waste (for example: sending waste to landfill).

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When waste is managed, it can be:

  • Aggregated: Waste in different containers with the same classificaion are added together
  • Co-mingled: Waste in different containers with difference classifications are added together
  • Disposed: Waste in a container is sent to a final destination, for example, landfill.
  • Separated: Waste in a container is sorted and split, for example, a waste skip of metal, rubble, soil and stones separated into skips of metal, rubble, soil and stones
  • Transformed: Waste in a container is changed into non-waste, for example, glass from a bar is crushed into glass cullet
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