Digital Waste Tracking development update

19 OCTOBER 2021

The Digital Waste Tracking System has been under development for the last couple of years in a project led by SEPA. It is likely that when development is complete and legislation implemented - possibly another 2-3 years - every UK business that produces or handles waste will be required to use this system. SEPA sent out their latest newsletter on the project yesterday focussing primarily on waste export developments.

We understand that there will be a consultation on waste tracking later this year followed by a consultation on waste exports, the former on the principles of the system and the latter that will require mandatory reporting of Annex VIIs.

Online tracking system development

1. User update

We reported in the last newsletter that we passed an alpha assessment ( of our green list waste exports prototype in July and you can now  read the assessment report ( This initial release very much focussed on core high priority user requirements. Work to develop the prototype further through reviewing and prioritising additional user requirements is underway and will refine and include new functionality for users. These will feed into future iterations of the prototype which will be tested with users in due course.

In the April newsletter we explained how we are breaking this complex project into smaller chunks that will look at specific service applications that  solve a problem for users ( in line with the  government digital service standard (

The first problem we started to tackle is ‘Where is waste going to?’ through our green list waste prototype and now we are preparing to start work on the second problem ‘Who is handling the waste?’. Work on the two problems will run in parallel, supported by two dedicated agile teams, but common issues and requirements will be tackled together. An example of this joint working is already in progress with respect to waste carriers as we examine their role in the waste tracking service for both international waste shipments and waste movements within the UK.

We are beginning mobilisation for ‘Who is handling the waste?’ and are building up our new team to support this work. The focus will be on developing functionality for completing and agreeing hazardous waste consignments in the first instance to solve this problem. We have chosen hazardous waste as it is already a three-party movement and it provides us with the opportunity to explore charging and payment options for waste movements.

2. Videos of our green list waste prototype

In order to demnstrate work on our prototype for recording an export of green list waste we have created a series of videos to show you what we have done so far, primarily for the alpha assessment. This is just the first release of the service and work will continue to improve the design and to develop new functionality.

Members of our user panel have been taking part in usability testing and providing valuable feedback that has helped shape the prototype over the past few months. We are very grateful for their input and ongoing support.

You can view the videos here:

If you would like to make any comments on the prototype after viewing the videos you can do so  here (

No personal information is collected via this link and your comments are completely anonymous.

3. Waste tracking blog

In our new blog   'User panel is key to success for the waste tracking service' ( we explain the benefits of creating a user panel and how users from across the waste chain are helping us design waste tracking.

4. Environment Bill

The   Environment Bill (, which provides the legislative framework to support waste tracking, has completed its passage through the House of Lords with the   report stage ( completed on 15th September and the   third reading ( on 13 October.

The final stages are   consideration of Lords amendments ( which is scheduled for 20 October and then Royal Assent.

5. Waste tracking consultation

Our consultation on the ‘Introduction of mandatory digital waste tracking' is coming soon and we will inform you as soon as it is published.

6. User panel activities

Since launching the user panel in October 2019, we have seen a steady increase in membership over time. There are now around 1200 members from across the UK representing all aspects of the waste chain. A breakdown of the panel by business/organisation size shows that 19.6% are micro, 36.5% are small/medium and 43.9% are large.

Around 640 panel members indicated they produce and/or manage hazardous waste which will give us a large pool of users to draw on for user research and usability testing as we start work on the second problem ‘Who is handling the waste?’ using hazardous waste consignments as our initial focus.

The image below shows the business activities of all panel members. Often businesses carry out more than one activity, for example they may be both a waste carrier and a waste exporter, so the number of activities represented in the graph are based on multiple responses from some of the 1194 user panel members.

We are always keen for new businesses and organisations to join the panel and would particularly welcome greater representation from very small businesses. Information on how to sign up can be found in the ‘Get involved’ section of this newsletter.

In November we expect to be inviting businesses involved in the movement of green list waste to undertake usability testing of refined functionality in the prototype.

7. Join our user panel

Help shape waste tracking by taking part in user research and usability testing  by signing up  here (

8. Read our newsletter

You can read previous newsletters ( or  subscribe here to receive future copies (