Within the UK, it is commonly recognised that there is a legal requirement for all waste movements to be documented using a “Waste Transfer Note” but is that really true.
Here are three situations where a Waste Transfer Note may not be required…
This article looks at the use of the Waste Transfer Note for documenting waste movements within the UK. This is a requirement that can be misunderstood by Environmental Managers, Auditors and many others in the movement of waste.
Indeed, it is a common occurrence to see Certification Body Auditors reviewing Waste Transfer Note files at their clients offices and readily coming up with nonconformities, such as the lack of signatures or SIC and Waste Codes. But the real questions should be whether a Waste Transfer Note is or is not required.
This article will challenge your understanding of what is a Waste Transfer Note and how to use them by proposing three scenarios when a Waste Transfer Note may not be required.
Firstly, a disclaimer:
The contents of this episode are for educational purposes to illustrate situations that I have seen in the past where a Waste Transfer Note was not required. However, you should take your own legal and environmental management advice based on your own situation and waste management needs and not reply on this video.
What is the legislation behind Waste Transfer Notes?
Let’s, recap on the use of a Waste Transfer Note, which has been well enshrined in UK legislation for thirty years since 1 April 1992, when The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 brought in the requirement for Waste Transfer Note for England, Scotland and Wales. Please note that these Regulations have been revoked and are not longer the current legal requirement. For the reasons, why they are not the current version, please read this article: XX
Indeed, the concept of documenting waste movements has been further developed as a legal requirement through to the current legislation for England and Wales being the Part 9: Transfer of wate in The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, for Scotland, The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) (Scotland) Regulations 2014 & for Northern Ireland, The Controlled Waste and Duty of Care Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013.
Why is a Waste Transfer Note required?
The underlying principle for a Waste Transfer Note is that, at its simplest, it documents the waste transfer from the Waste Producer, such as a manufacturing site or office, to the Waste Carrier who transports the waste to be transferred to the destination facility, which can be the final disposal point, such as a landfill site, an intermediate transfer station or a recycling facility.
So, it is a simple concept – How can there possibly be a time when a Waste Transfer Note is not required.
Let’s explore three scenarios when a Waste Transfer Note may not be required…
Scenario 1 – Hazardous Waste
The first scenario is the transfer of hazardous waste as defined in England, Wales and Northern Ireland or special waste in Scotland.
In each case, the movement of hazardous / special waste is exempted from the requirement for a Waste Transfer Note provided that a consignment note and, where appropriate, a schedule is used in accordance with the relevant legislation.
For England and Wales, this is Regulation 35(7) of The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 In Scotland, it is Regulation 4 of The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) (Scotland) Regulations 2014 & in Northern Ireland, it is Regulation 3(2) of The Controlled Waste and Duty of Care Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013.
Scenario 2 – International Shipment of Waste
Our second scenario is the transfer of waste destined to be exported, imported or that transits the UK between the originating county and the final destination country.
The relevant legislation, which covers the whole of the UK is:
The European Union’s Waste Shipments Regulation EC No 1013/2006 as amended by two Brexit Regulations, namely:
In the case of international waste movements, I could not find a specific exemption from the use of the UK’s Waste Transfer Note
Whilst I could not find a specific exemption from the normal use of the Waste Transfer Note, it is expected that the Transfrontier Shipment form contains the relevant information on the Waste Transfer Note and will negate the latter’s use especially given the system of prior notification of international waste movements and its approval requirements.
Scenario 3 – No Waste Transfer
My third and final scenario for this episode is the movement of waste controlled and managed by the same legal entity.
For example, a construction company has waste metal left over after a job in an office refurbishment. The company’s employees transport the metal waste in the company’s van and take it to their depot to put into a skip with other metal wastes.
So, to analyse this scenario in more detail, the same legal entity: the construction company is in possession of the waste from its generation at the office refurbishment, through its transportation and its storage at heir depot. At no time, is the waste transferred to another person. So, there is no need for a Waste Transfer Note as the Note is used for all waste transfers but in this scenario, there has been no such waste transfer.
The outcome of this third and final scenario is based on the principles of the Duty of Care and waste transfer. No waste transfer, no Waste Transfer Note needed.
So, to summarise:
I hope that this article has challenged your thinking on the use of a Waste Transfer Note as it may not be needed on every scenario when waste is moved, either by exemption for hazardous / special waste, use of another form for transfrontier shipments of waste or simply, that a waste transfer has not taken place.
Do you agree with my scenarios, or do you have seen different situations, when as Waste Transfer Note is not required? Leave a comment in the box below to continue the dialogue.
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