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What is a Waste Transfer Note?

What is a Waste Transfer Note?

All businesses manage waste in some manner. Whether it’s hazardous waste or recycled paper waste, every form of business waste needs a Waste Transfer Note to confirm the transferral or removal of waste. If you’re not entirely sure what a Waste Transfer Note is, why they’re important or how to complete them, our guide is here to help.

What is a Waste Transfer Note?

A Waste Transfer Note (WTN) is a document used to confirm the transfer of non-hazardous waste between the waste holder and the waste carrier. It is a legal requirement that a business retains proof of these waste transfers to show their duty of care and commitment to managing their environmental impact.

The WTN can be physical or digital, as long as it shows the correct details to ensure that there is a clear audit trail from when the waste is produced, until it is disposed of. If asked, you may need to show these WTNs to your local council or environmental regulator, otherwise you could face a fine.

Do I need a Waste Transfer Note?

Yes. As stated above, a Waste Transfer Note is a legal requirement for any business that moves non-hazardous waste off their premises. It proves that you’re legally disposing of your waste and monitoring the impact you’re having on the environment.

When you use a waste transfer company, they would usually take care of a WTN on your behalf. For example, Shredall SDS Group will send a certificate of Waste Transfer Note via email when we transfer recycled paper waste. However, it is still your responsibility to ensure that you have a copy of this waste transfer note, and that the carrier you use holds a valid waste carrier’s licence.

How to complete a Waste Transfer Note

There is no one format for producing a Waste Transfer Note. As long as the document displays all the relevant details to ensure a clear audit trail, you will be compliant. Many companies will have their own branded WTN format, however many companies use the government’s official ‘Duty of Care: Waste Transfer Note’ to guarantee compliance. Visit the website to see what a WTN can look like.

What should the Waste Transfer Note contain?

A WTN must contain a variety of information about the waste and the parties involved. This information must be detailed enough so that the waste can be handled safely, can be recovered safely or disposed of legally. A Waste Transfer Note should include:

  • A description of the waste
  • The quantity of the waste
  • Any processes the waste has been through
  • The place and date of the waste transfer
  • How the waste is contained or packaged
  • The name of person / organisation that produced the waste
  • The name of person / organisation responsible for moving the waste
  • The EWC (European Waste Catalogue) code for your waste
  • The SIC (Standard Industry Code) of your business
  • Details of the permit, licence or exemption of the person receiving the waste

Who needs to sign the WTN?

The WTN needs to be signed by both the producer of the waste, and by the waste management company that is becoming responsible for it. All these records must be dated, signed and retained on file.

How long do I need to keep Waste Transfer Notes?

Waste Transfer Notes legally need to be retained on your company files for 2 years. This ensures that there is a clear audit trail from where and when the waste is produced, until it is disposed of. For those companies that are consistently handling and transferring waste, ensuring that your documents are compliant and legal is essential to avoid fines.

Our Document Management Software is the easy way to create, access and control your WTNs and other protected documents. It allows you to have complete visibility and manage the entire document life cycle from one place, reducing the risk of non-compliance.

Does a Waste Transfer Note cover hazardous waste?

A WTN does not cover hazardous waste, only non-hazardous, inert waste. Hazardous waste, such as asbestos, is potentially dangerous to the organisation handling it, and therefore needs a Hazardous Waste Consignment Note. Hazardous waste usually concerns anything such as chemical, biological, clinical or electronic (WEEE) waste. There are many organisations around the UK that can take care of your hazardous waste for you.

What is the difference between a Waste Transfer Note and a consignment note?

As we stated above, a Waste Transfer Note is a legal requirement for movement of non-hazardous waste that needs to be kept on file for a minimum of two years. Whereas a consignment note ( Hazardous Waste Consignment Note) is a document for the movement of hazardous waste, which businesses are legally required to keep copies of for a minimum of three years.

With a HZCN, the document contains an additional section that states specifically where the hazardous waste is being disposed of, making it different from a Waste Transfer Note.


Waste Transfer Note season tickets

WTN season tickets, also known as ‘annual waste transfer notes,’ allow your business to cover multiple transfers of non-hazardous waste over the period of a year. You can use a season ticket if the following details stay the same across all of the transfers:

  • The type of waste and its description
  • The waste producer or current holder
  • The waste carrier

When any of these details change, a new waste transfer note must be created. Alongside your WTN season tickets, you’ll need to complete a separate ‘schedule’ that lists details of each transfer, including the date and the amount of waste transferred each time. This schedule can easily be completed using a spreadsheet for reference.

Need help with your recycling waste management?

Shredall SDS Group is a trusted total information management service, specialising in document shredding, storage and a variety of recycling services. We’re dedicated to compliance; we’re proud to hold all industry ISO accreditations and undergo rigorous security checks to ensure your confidential data is safe. Combined with our commitment to reducing our environmental impact, there are many reasons why you should choose Shredall SDS Group for all of your information management needs.

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