Waste transfer note FAQs
A waste transfer note (WTN) is a legally required piece of documentation which must be completed when waste changes hands. This means that if a business requires waste to be disposed of, or waste collected by a waste disposal company is then passed over to another business, perhaps for recycling or processing, a WTN must be completed. The only notable exception relates to when a householder initially parts with waste: in those circumstances, a WTN is not required in order for the waste to be removed. If it is passed on, however, then a WTN will be required. WTNs can cover either a single transaction or a number of similar transactions (a “season” WTN).
Waste needs to be disposed of legally and correctly. In order for this to be achieved, it’s essential that there is a clear audit trail that shows what type of waste has been transferred and what, if anything, has happened to it as it’s transferred between owners. If the waste is hazardous, WTNs help to ensure the safety of the employees working with it as it’s moved through the waste disposal process.
Non-hazardous waste is covered by a generic Duty of Care Waste Transfer Note. This contains details of the waste producer and waste receiver, as well as information regarding the type and volume of waste.
If you have any reason to believe that some or all of the waste is hazardous, a Hazardous Waste Consignment Note must be completed. This enables those handling, managing and disposing of the waste to do so safely and appropriately. Broadly speaking, hazardous waste is any type of waste which is dangerous to humans or to the environment. Common types of hazardous waste include:
Batteries, Asbestos, Solvents, paints, brake fluids and similar, Fridges, Pesticides, Oils
These types of waste need to be dealt with professionally.
A separate type of WTN, a Vehicle Purchase Receipt, is required if a vehicle is sold for waste.
A waste consignment note is a piece of documentation which needs to be completed every time hazardous waste is moved, regardless of a transfer in ownership. In comparison, a waste transfer note is completed when waste changes hands. Non-hazardous waste does not require the completion of a waste consignment note. Waste consignment notes are part of a system of audit information which shows how a company is storing, managing and moving the hazardous waste in its possession. Companies owning hazardous waste are legally required to show how they are managing it appropriately: a waste consignment note is part of this process.
There is no formally levied charge for the completion of a WTN. WTNs can be completed by your waste carrier for free, by simply completed using a generic form, see the example below. If a company attempts to charge you a specific fee for filling in a WTN, be suspicious! There is no reason why a charge needs to be applied and it could be the case that a business is attempting to extract cash from you for a piece of paperwork that should be completed at no additional cost, as part of the waste transfer transaction.
Except where a householder is parting with waste, a WTN is legally required. If in doubt, fill in a WTN. Companies have been prosecuted and fined in the past for failure to complete a WTN when required to do so by law. Why take the risk?
WTNs should be kept for audit purposes for at least TWO years. Remember that the relevant information can be stored online if paper storage is likely to prove too onerous.
Waste consignment notes should be kept for at least THREE years. In the same way as WTNs, waste consignment notes can be stored online as well as in paper form.
A waste transfer licence is required by any company that transports waste as part of their business. You do not need to own the waste in order to require a waste transfer licence to move it.
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