You are responsible for any waste you produce, transport or process and have a duty of care to ensure that waste in your possession causes no harm.
A waste transfer note (WTN) or a Duty of Care Waste Transfer Note is a document that must be completed when waste is transferred from one party to another. If a waste transfer note is not completed during the transfer of waste you are almost certainly breaking the law and could face a fine. If the waste is hazardous (hazardous waste includes every day objects such as fluorescent light tubes) you may need to
complete a hazardous consignment note (HWCN) or in Scotland a special waste consignment note (SWCN). Waste Transfer Notes ensure that there is a clear trail from when the waste is produced until it is disposed of. You must keep your waste transfer notes and hazardous waste consignment notes for at least two years and be able to produce them on demand to the Environment Agency or local authority.
The producer of the waste is most able to describe the waste accurately. The waste carriers or waste management contractors should not describe the waste on behalf of the producer. They may be experts in their field but only the producer really knows what the waste contains. The waste producer should therefore complete the description of the waste. When describing the waste it is not acceptable to use non-specific terms such as 'general waste'. The description must be detailed enough to allow safe handling, storage and disposal of the waste. The List of Waste (LoW) code section must be completed and the code needs to be accurate. The List of Waste codes from the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) can be found here.
The collector/receiver of the waste should obviously check the description and quantity of the waste for accuracy and commercial reasons. The waste producer should also complete the producer details section. When adding the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) code, use the 2007 version of the code. The code will be found on the producer's company registration documents or in their entry on the companies house website. If the premises are registered for hazardous waste include the premises code otherwise leave blank. The place and date of transfer can be completed by either of the parties involved as both will check and sign this section.
Waste Producer – any person whose activities produce waste. This includes private sector businesses such as shops, offices, factories and tradespersons (e.g. electricians, builders, glaziers and plumbers) and public sector services such as schools, hospitals and prisons, as well as charities and voluntary and community groups. It also includes permitted operations or exempt facilities that produce waste as part of their activities. If you carry out a waste operation that changes the nature or composition of the waste, you are regarded as a producer of the waste. Waste producers play a key role under the duty of care requirements as they are in the best position to identify the nature and characteristics of the waste.
Waste Carrier – any person, who normally and regularly collects, carries or transports waste in the course of any business or with a view to profit, including those that produce and transport their own waste e.g. builders and landscape gardeners.
Waste Dealer – any person, business or organisation that buys waste with the aim of subsequently selling it, including in circumstances where the dealer does not take physical possession of the waste .
Waste Broker – any person, business or organisation that arranges waste transportation and management of waste on behalf of another party, such as organisations contracting out waste collection services e.g. local authorities, supermarkets and producer responsibility compliance schemes .
Waste Manager – any person involved in the collection, transport, recovery or disposal of controlled waste, including the supervision of these operations, the after-care of disposal sites and actions taken as a dealer or broker.
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