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Advice and answers from the ISM Waste & Recycling Team
Posted: 2nd November 2021

Waste Management Explained: What is a Waste Transfer Note (WTN)?

Waste transfer notes are essential legal records for all businesses. Here's everything you need to know to ensure you're compliant with regulations and understand how to fill them out correctly.

A waste transfer note is a legal document in the UK that records the transfer of waste between parties. It includes details on the type and quantity of waste, ensuring proper documentation of waste disposal and compliance with environmental regulations.

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What is a Waste Transfer Note?

A waste transfer note or WTN is a physical or digital document that details the transfer of waste from one person to another.

For each load of commercial waste (inert or non-hazardous waste), waste transfer notes are an essential part of any legal movement of waste between two parties.

WTNs ensure that all waste produced by a business or organisation has a clear audit trail from where it is produced to its final disposal.

Waste transfer notes are proof that businesses or organisations dispose of waste legally and responsibly.

Who Needs a WTN?

All businesses and organisations in England and Wales need a waste transfer note for each load of waste transported from one party to another.

Domestic waste does not require a WTN in most cases; for example, you won't need a waste transfer note if you're hiring a skip at your house. Only when dealing with asbestos (because it's hazardous waste) do you need to have a waste transfer note.

How to Complete a Waste Transfer Note?

There is no standard waste transfer note; waste companies issue their own WTN templates in most cases. However, there is a list of standard information that WTNs must include.

Waste transfer notes must include:

  1. A description of the waste
  2. How the waste is contained or packaged
  3. The amount/weight of the waste
  4. The location and date that the waste is transferred
  5. The details of the person or organisation that produced the waste
  6. The details of the person or organisation that is transporting the waste
  7. Details of the licence or exemption of the person receiving the waste
  8. The relevant European Waste Catalogue (EWC) code for the waste
  9. The SIC code that applies to your business (if applicable)
waste transfer note template
Example of a basic waste transfer note. Download a PDF waste transfer note template (download will begin automatically).

All transfer notes must provide enough detail about the waste to be handled safely and either recovered, recycled or disposed of legally.

Who Needs to Sign a Waste Transfer Note?

All records need to be dated and signed by the parties concerned. Waste transfer notes need to be signed by both the producer and carrier/waste management company.

Waste Transfer Note Season Tickets

Filling out a waste transfer note every time your waste is collected can be tedious. So, for recurring transfers, you can utilise an annual waste transfer note, otherwise known as a season ticket, to avoid the hassle.

A season ticket is a single WTN that covers multiple transfers over a 12 month period. You can only use a season ticket if all of the following stay the same:

  • The parties involved in the transfer (waste producer and the waste carrier/waste management company)
  • The description of the waste
  • The place where the waste is being transferred to

If any of these three details change, you'll need a new waste transfer note.

How Long Do I Need to Keep Records of Waste Transfer Notes?

You must keep records for a minimum of 2 years.

Waste transfer notes ensure a complete audit trail for all loads of waste produced by businesses and organisations.

It is a legal obligation to keep the records of all WTNs for a minimum of two years for any future audits and checks.

You must be able to produce them when requested by your environmental regulator or local council, or your company could be fined.

When dealing with hazardous waste, the documentation is called a hazardous waste consignment note which is similar to the standard waste transfer note but with a few extra details. Records of these need to be kept for a minimum of three years.

Need Help with Your Waste Management?

Here at ISM Waste & Recycling, we are a fully licenced and environmentally responsible waste management company. We believe in providing the most reliable waste management services at affordable prices for all of our customers.

It's quick and easy to get started with one of our no-obligation waste audits, just one of the many reasons to choose us as your waste management and recycling provider. Call us on 01706823001 or fill in our simple contact form.

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