The Duty of care: waste transfer note

We are often asked about the ‘Duty of care: waste transfer note’ which is often referred to as just the ‘WTN’.  The main points to note as a producer are that:

  1. All parties handling electrical waste have a responsibility to ensure that it is correctly handled and processed.  
  2. It is a legal requirement for a WTN to be issued when WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) transfers from one organisation to another.
  3. Once the WTN is signed by the waste producer, the responsibility for the correct handling and processing of the waste assets moves to the collector.  If the collector then sends some of this waste (because it can’t be re-used for its original purpose) so that the recovery of plastics, precious metals and so on can take place, then once again a waste transfer is taking place and therefore another WTN is required.  
  4. The primary reason (there were other considerations) for the introduction of this legal document was to combat flytipping. 
  5. The current guidelines (May 2013) from the Environment Agency are that these notes should be kept by the waste producer for a minimum of two years.
  6. At this time (May 2013) WTNs are generally paper based.  However, there is an initiative under way for a more centralised electronic system (edoc) to be available in the future.