Business Waste
Free Duty of Care Certificate

Waste Transfer Note or Duty of Care Certificate

Any business that produces any type of waste must comply with the waste duty of care requirements. For every non-hazardous load of waste removed from your business’ premises you must have a waste transfer note (WTN) or duty of care certificate.

Your waste collector is legally and duty-bound to supply you with a duty of care certificate. Some companies charge an admin fee for this, which they should discuss before you sign a contract. If you find it’s added as a hidden charge, then question it.

At Business Waste we provide free duty of care certificates for all our customers. We will not charge you for this as it must be provided by law.

Find waste transfer note guidance on this page or for a full guide including an example of a duty of care waste transfer note, read our waste transfer note FAQs.

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What is a waste transfer note 
or duty of care certificate?

A duty of care certificate or waste transfer note (WTN) is a legal document any business that produces waste is legally required to have. The document covers the business and the owner under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. It serves as proof that the business or owner disposes of their waste legally and responsibly.

A waste transfer note is a legal requirement for every load of waste you pass onto others – such as your commercial waste collection service. WTNs or duty of care certificates ensure there’s a clear trail from when any type of waste is produced to its point of disposal.

Who does the 
waste duty of care apply to?

The waste duty of care applies to any business that produces, carries, keeps, disposes of, treats, imports, or has control of waste at any point in England and Wales. This includes businesses that generate any type of commercial waste, licensed waste carriers that remove and transport it to landfill and recycling centres, and brokers that have control over waste.

Different waste duty of care applies to households – including domestic properties, caravans, and residential homes. Domestic property occupiers must take reasonable measures to ensure they only transfer household waste produced on that property to an authorised person – to avoid the risk of fly tipping. Normally this simply means ensuring only the council or local authority empty your household bins.

How long must a 
waste transfer note be kept?

A waste transfer notice or duty of care certificate is valid for a period of one year. The owner or business must keep a waste transfer note for a period of two years after expiry. With any WTNs for hazardous waste you should keep these for a minimum of three years.

Waste transfer note requirements

A waste transfer note is required for every load of non-hazardous waste that leaves your business premises. Waste transfer note requirements stipulate that both your organisation and the company responsible for moving your waste must fill in the relevant sections and sign it. This should include enough information so the business removing your waste can handle and dispose of it safely.

You’re required to keep a copy of the waste transfer note for at least two years. If requested by an enforcement officer from your local council or the Environment Agency you must show them a copy.

What should a 
waste transfer note include?

Both parties complete and sign the waste transfer note or duty of care certificate, which must include:

  • What type of container the waste is stored in
  • The time and date the waste was transferred
  • Where this transfer took place
  • The names and addresses of both parties
  • Details of which category of authorised person each one is
  • Details of the parties’ registration certificate – including the certificate number and the name of the council that issued it
  • If either or both of the parties has a waste licence, the licence number, and the name of the council that issued it
  • Reasons for an exemption from the requirement to register to have a licence

Check out a full detailed guide, including an example of a duty of care certificate.

Read our waste transfer note FAQs

Annual waste transfer notes

You can use an annual waste transfer note (or ‘season ticket’) to cover multiple non-hazardous waste transfers for a period of up to one year. This saves time, effort, and paperwork if you use the same licensed waste carriers to remove waste daily or weekly from your premises.

All the details must stay the same throughout the period you use an annual waste transfer note. You’ll need a new annual or single waste transfer note if any of these details change. This includes the:

  • Current holder of the waste
  • Waste carrier
  • Type of waste

To support your season ticket, you’ll also need a schedule. This is a different document that includes important information about each waste transfer, including the:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Waste quantity – number of bags/bins
  • Waste transfer site – if it’s not included on the season ticket or waste is collected at different sites

It can be recorded on a spreadsheet, as part of your invoicing, or weighbridge records. Waste transfer note requirements also apply and mean you must keep a copy of your annual waste transfer note and schedule for at least two years.

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