Consultation due this summer to consider the future of the Waste Transfer Note

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As part of the Red Tape Challenge, Defra is currently planning a Consultation to look at ways to reduce the requirements placed on businesses on completing and storing Waste Transfer Notes (WTNs).

Currently under UK law, a business has a Duty of Care requirement to ensure that they consider the environment when they produce, store, transport and dispose of their waste. Within this is the necessity to complete WTNs each time waste is passed from one party to another, and to keep a record of completed WTNs for at least 2 years.

This results in the production of at least 25 million WTNs being produced a year, and an administrative burden for many businesses. As such, Defra recently confirmed that it would be looking at possibilities of reducing these requirements. One likely suggestion is looking at alternatives to the WTN, for example, by allowing businesses to use other forms of evidence (such as an invoice) when moving the waste.

In an update to local authorities the Department said this week: “The Red Tape Challenge identified that many small businesses find the production, completion and storage of Waste Transfer Notes burdensome. Therefore we will be looking for alternative ways for businesses to provide the information required when was changes hand, e.g. by allowing them to use other forms of evidence instead such as invoices.”

“We plan to consult on changes to the Waste Transfer Note system during summer 2013.”

It is thought that the Consultation is part of the Environment Agency’s plans for an electronic system, due in 2014, to be put in place to record WTNs. This will allow the issue and record of WTNs online instead of the current paper based copies, and is estimated to save businesses £5 million a year.