The EPA e-Manifest System was launched in 2018, and some waste providers have already climbed on board the program. For 2019, the EPA expects to receive 2.12 million waste manifests. Among that total, however, the agency anticipates only about 10,000 fully electronic e-Manifests.
Despite the slow adoption of the e-Manifest System, the EPA is taking measures to improve compliance, namely, in higher fees for mailed paper manifests. The deadline for full compliance has been set for the summer of 2021, at which point the EPA is certain to implement more stringent methods to improve compliance.
In this article we’ll review how to use the e-Manifest System. Plus, we’ll explore ways to make compliance with the system much easier and cost effective.
What Is The EPA e-Manifest?
The EPA established the e-Manifest System according to the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act, which became law in 2012. This legislation authorizes the EPA to implement a national electronic manifest system to electronically track hazardous waste shipments. The costs of developing and operating the system are covered by user fees charged to those who use hazardous waste manifests.
How Do I Register for the e-Manifest System?
The first step in using the e-Manifest system is to register online at the EPA website. Registration basically involves these steps:
- Obtain an EPA ID number
- Assign a Site Manager for your site or EPA ID
- Register for e-Manifest in RCRAInfo (this involves registering at RCRAInfo and completing e-learning courses)
- EPA or Site Manager approves registration
How Do I Use The e-Manifest System?
The EPA accepts five types of manifest submissions, which include:
- Fully Electronic
- Data + Image
- Scanned Image
- Mailed Paper
Electronic manifests can be fully electronic or hybrid, however, data + image and scanned images can also use the e-Manifest System for some functions. All handlers of manifests must be registered for e-Manifest.
Each category of manifest has its own special instructions which can be found on the EPA website here. There’s also a method to make e-Manifest submission even easier using convenient software solutions.
Using Waste Manifest Software For e-Manifest Preparation
One of the biggest complaints about the e-Manifest is that it’s complicated to use. Also, just because it’s electronic does not mean errors can’t happen in preparing the manifest. Waste manifest software solves both problems as it makes generating and filing manifests easier and more accurate.
Waste manifest software falls under a general category of Software-as-a-Service or SaaS. These tools are designed to optimize any number of waste business operations. Many companies in every sector have been adopting these tools to save time, resources, and generate more revenue.
Waste Manifest Software Advantages
Preparing a waste manifest takes time. Waste manifest software makes it easier by allowing users to point and click to quickly complete many form fields instead of typing out information. This also improves accuracy as many typos will be eliminated. As the waste manifest takes less time to create, work teams are free to complete other tasks. Also, the software makes it easier to train new hires to complete these forms, especially since people are more tech savvy than ever.
Some waste manifest software solutions even allow you to directly link to the e-Manifest System via the RCRAInfo Portal. This puts the entire process under one platform for maximum efficiency.
What Did You Say About Revenue Generation?
The reality is that waste manifest software is part of a larger package called waste management software. These powerful platforms open a wide range of opportunities for waste companies to improve operations and grow their business.
For instance, the sales management component allows you to:
- Manage business with real-time updates of all business-critical functions
- Visualize all sales opportunities at a glance
- Leverage a variety of sales team management tools
- See real-time job status updates
Also, the customer management component makes sure you retain customers and meet their needs. Remember, it can cost five times more to attract a new customer versus retaining a current one.
What About Other Forms?
Even though only waste manifests are under e-Manifest System requirements, waste service companies are constantly filling out forms. In a regulated environment, the accuracy of these forms is imperative. From a business point of view, the time it takes to complete the forms is critical as well.
Just like the waste manifest, many other forms can be generated by business software, such as:
- Waste profiles
- Biennial EPA reports
Plus, other documents can be stored online, such as SDS, EPA ID number application, permits, quotes, licenses, contracts, work orders, certificate of destruction, and proof of destruction videos.
The other benefit is that all of these archived documents are stored in the cloud, so they can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection or even on a mobile device. Not only is there no special hardware required, but it also provides a level of security against fire or natural disaster.
The e-Manifest is simply a manifestation of an overall trend towards digitization of not only regulated documents, but of overall business functions. In the past, technological updates meant weeks, if not months, of meticulous planning to install servers and hardware on-premise.
Today, the installation of software is much more agile and requires no special hardware at all. Deployment time is often reduced to days. Also, system updates are automatic and don’t require an IT team as the SaaS provider does the tweaking.
Waste Management Software
These digital solutions have been developed by technological experts who also have experience in the waste industry. This is especially important as many large, generic software companies will try to sell their options to any buyer.
For waste management companies, the best solutions are created by those with firsthand knowledge in the waste sector. This helps to make sure compliance is spot on and that the nuances of the waste business are appropriately addressed. The end result is better business operations, improved customer satisfaction, and new revenue streams.
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