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Consignees and Consignment Notes

Waste consignees in England will be receiving, treating, or disposing of hazardous waste at their premises. Doing so means you must keep proper records (e.g. consignment notes and related documentation).

This section explains the use of consignment notes when moving hazardous waste. Further information covers the process of consignee returns and the deadlines for sending them to the Environment Agency.

Any consignee who receives, treats, or disposes of hazardous waste loads in England must follow these steps:

  1. Obtain environmental permits or register an exemption for the premises.
  2. Ensure the waste classification is correct and check the consignment note and waste before accepting it (details below).
  3. Note: You should reject the load if the consignment note is missing, incomplete, or incorrect.
  4. Fill in section ‘E’ of the consignment note for any hazardous waste that you accept or reject. Keep one copy for your own records and give one copy back to the waste carrier.
  5. Use consignee returns (see below) to inform the Environment Agency (and waste producers and holders) what hazardous waste you accepted or rejected.

Note: You will need to keep a ‘register’ (your records) at the site where you stored, treated, or disposed of the hazardous waste.

Records You Need to Keep

As a hazardous waste consignee, the records you must keep include copies of:

  • Consignment notes.
  • Any other related documents (e.g. carrier schedules, a list of carriers if there is more than one, records of rejected loads).
  • A site inventory recording where waste was stored, treated, or disposed of at the waste site. You should keep it in a secure and marked area (e.g. accessible in an emergency).
Site Inventories for Permanent Waste Storage

Codes from the Waste Framework Directive relate to permanent waste storage or ‘tipped waste’ (e.g. landfill) and includes:

  • Deposit into or onto land (e.g. landfill): Disposal code D1
  • Land treatment: Disposal code D2
  • Deep injection: Disposal code D3
  • Surface impoundment: Disposal code D4
  • Specially engineered landfill: Disposal code D5
  • Release into a water body except seas or oceans: Disposal code D6
  • Permanent storage: Disposal code D12

A site inventory needs to be a site plan of your waste site showing the location of all stored hazardous waste. It must also include:

  • A consignment note code (obtained from the consignee return if no consignment note exists).
  • A waste description (including its classification code, chemical components, and hazardous properties).

Note: You should use a grid or contour lines on the site plan to divide up the different areas of your waste site.

Site Inventories for All Other Waste Operations

The following requirements apply to all waste operations other than tipped waste, such as:

  • Disposal by other methods
  • Incineration
  • Recovery
  • Treatment

The site inventory can either be a site plan or a table providing it shows the location of the waste at your site together. It should also include:

  • Its consignment note code (obtained from the consignee return if no consignment note exists).
  • Information that cross-references each incoming or outgoing waste (for waste transfer activities).

You would also need to keep records of any deliveries of hazardous waste accepted at your site, including:

  • Its weight (recorded in kilograms).
  • Its waste description, classification code, chemical components, and hazardous properties.
  • The name, address, and postcode of the waste holder or producer that it came from.
  • What type of disposal or recovery method you applied to the waste.

How Long You Need to Keep Records

Landfill (e.g. disposal codes D1 to D6 and D12) All records For as long as you hold an environmental permit
Other sites with a permit Consignment notes Five (5) years
Other sites with a permit Site inventory and all other records For as long as you hold an environmental permit
Waste sites with an exemption All records Three (3) years

Note: Giving up (or losing) your permit means you must send your records to the Environment Agency.

Hazardous Waste: Consignment Notes

You will need to use consignment notes if you are moving hazardous waste. The Environment Agency produces consignment notes guidance if you need further information.

Filling in a Consignment Note

The first step is to download a consignment note form. You can download a continuation sheet if you need more space. Fill in all the sections that apply to your business operation.

  • Producer: Complete parts A and B
  • Holder (stores waste): Complete parts A and B
  • Carrier (collects and transports waste): Fill in section C
  • Consignor (hands the waste to the carrier): Complete part D
  • Consignee (receives waste for recycling or disposal): Fill in part E

Note: It is your responsibility to make sure the consignment note stays with the hazardous waste until reaching its final destination.

Waste Producers or Holder Need to Know:
  • Standard industrial classification of economic activities (SIC) describing what business activity produced the waste.
  • Waste classification code (List of Waste) or EWC (European Waste Catalogue) code describing the waste.

You Can Also Get Consignment Notes:

  • As a note from the waste contractor (or write your own). It must contain the information on the form.
  • As a purchase from the Environment Agency (containing 3 colour-coded copies).

Environment Agency
Telephone: 03708 506 506
Monday to Friday: 8am to 5pm
Mail: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]
Further details on call charges.

As a Waste Producer or Holder

The consignee that deals with your hazardous waste should give you consignee returns every quarter. If you do not get them you should stop using that particular waste business and contact the Environment Agency.

Note: All hazardous waste producers and holders may need to get consignee returns in writing to keep in your records.

Consignee Returns

A consignee return is a detailed report relating to any hazardous waste that you receive, treat, or disposed of as a business or a ‘consignee’.

As a Consigne

Consignees need to send SEPARATE (not copies of the same document) returns to the Environment Agency and to the waste producer or holder every quarter.

Note: Read more on how to send consignee returns to the Environment Agency and waste producer if you receive or dispose of hazardous waste..

Sending Consignee Returns to Environment Agency
  1. Fill in the hazardous waste consignee return spreadsheet.
  2. Send the completed spreadsheet to the Environment Agency by email or via the online service.
Deadlines for Reporting
  • January to March: Deadline is the 30th of April
  • April to June: Deadline is the 31st of July
  • July to September:: Deadline is the 31st of October
  • October to December: Deadline is the 31st of January
Consignment Fees

The fees are per consignment of waste and will depend on whether it formed part of a multiple collection or not (if it came from multiple locations). The current consignment fees are:

  • Single consignment: £10 for electronic returns (£19 for paper returns).
  • Multiple collection: £5 for electronic returns (£10 for paper returns).

Consignees, Consignment Notes, and Consignee Returns Guide for United Kingdom