Some information that was passed on to us by the Council after numerous complains of domestic bonfires from residents. We hope it helps.
Bonfires are not illegal however we do not encourage them as burning waste materials can cause pollution and local nuisance. Find out about domestic and commercial bonfires and how to report them.Household waste should not be burned on a bonfire as many items of household waste can be recycled.
If a domestic bonfire persistently causes significant nuisance from smoke or ash, an abatement notice can be served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 80. Breach of an abatement notice is an offence that can result in a fine following a hearing at a Magistrates’ Court.
What the Council can do:
We will investigate reports of domestic bonfires which are causing a nuisance if:
· A single bonfire has smoldered or produced smoke for more than 24 hours continuously
· A series of bonfires are lit over a short period of time so as to cause a nuisance by their frequency.
What you can do
1. You are asked to download the diary sheet and complete it to establish that there is a pattern of significant nuisance.
2. You should then send in the diary sheet with your report so that the need for action can be assessed and an officer may contact the person responsible for the bonfires.
Some furthur information on Preventing a bonfire becoming a nuisance and things you should know before lighting a bonfire.
Occupiers of premises, both in smoke control areas and elsewhere are urged to observe the following simple conditions, before lighting fires in the open:
· never light a bonfire unless you are satisfied that weather conditions and wind directions are such that any smoke or ash will be carried away from your neighbours’ windows and gardens. Make sure there is no laundry drying in any adjoining gardens
· only burn natural and untreated material which is dry enough to be burned quickly and with a minimum of smoke
· soft vegetable waste and grass cuttings etc which are difficult to dry, should be composted or buried.
· do not burn oily rags, rubber and other materials likely to produce heavy or pungent smoke
· do not leave your fire to smolder for long periods and never leave it unattended. Hose it down until the bonfire is cold’ before you leave it
· advise neighbours before you light a bonfire
· burn material quickly in small quantities to minimise the amount of smoke created
· choose your bonfire site carefully, well away from trees, fences and windows. Beware of attempting bonfires on windy days as they can easily get out of control. Have a hosepipe or buckets of water handy.
· rake the ashes when cold into the soil as a useful fertiliser. Small pieces of charcoal can be included, but larger pieces should be picked out first
If, in spite of taking the above precautions, your bonfire smolders, put it out and wait for the material to dry before starting another bonfire.
Cllrs Money, Khatra and Nelson