Waste oil extranet helps to save time and protect the environment

Background

Metano Container Ltd. together with the Isle of Man Government's former Department of Local Government and the Environment (DLGE) devised a scheme to reduce the cost of waste oil disposal and to do so in an environmentally friendly manner.

Instead of each individual waste producer bearing the costs of licensing and transportation, the scheme spread the cost of disposing of waste oil amongst all of the Island's waste producers, making it an economically viable solution. After negotiations with the UK's Environment Agency, it was agreed that oil could be shipped by Metano in their Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC's) under one set of documentation (Trans Frontier Shipment or TFS).

The most efficient way to administer the scheme was via a website that managed the complete process and provided each of the different participants in the scheme with real time access to the information they required.

The Challenge

The challenge for the project team was to design and develop a system that could manage the whole process including documentation and provide real time status reports on container movements and waste recovery. The system had to be designed as an extranet to allow different user types access to a common website to perform specific functions relating to the disposal of the waste oil.

The scheme worked as follows: the waste oil producers hired Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC's) from Metano to store the waste oil. When these containers were full the producer informs the transporter company that they are ready for collection. The transporter is then responsible for the collection of the container, replacing it with empties, shipping the oil to the UK and ensuring all the relevant paperwork is managed appropriately.

The Solution

The system allowed each user access to the extranet with each of the different user groups having different permissions allowing access to particular requirements.

Although the back office system which manages the processes is the most complex part of the website, considerable thought was given to ensuring that the front end website was as easy and intuitive to use as possible for all the users involved in the process.

Waste oil producers could sign up to the scheme by registering on the website. Once Metano had accepted the registration request and the producer had agreed to the terms and conditions, they were assigned a username and password. Producers could access the website to request that the IBCs be collected and view information on pending collections and deliveries.

The local transporter, who delivered and collected the waste oil IBC's, viewed an entirely different homepage when they logged on to the system. The transporter had access to delivery note and collection note functions, displaying a list of all of the delivery and collection requests with those outstanding flagged. 

When an optimum number of IBC's had been collected, the transporter shipped them to a UK based recoverer and picked up the empty IBC's to take them back to the Isle of Man. When the IBC's were returned to the Island from the recoverer, the transporter used the website to make them available for leasing.

Benefits

The extranet and back office systems developed by PDMS seamlessly managed the entire waste oil scheme. It allowed not only for the administration of the system but also produced and circulated all of the necessary documentation and e-mail notifications. The web based system saved considerable time and effort in managing the process for all of the parties involved, particularly the administrators Metano. 

The scheme did not only benefit the waste oil producers but also the environment, as it provided an environmentally friendly way to dispose of potential pollutants. It was also an excellent example of how  technology can be used effectively and efficiently to administer and manage a service.

The project won a national award for sustainable waste management at the Green Apple Awards held in London.