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Nuisance from bonfires

If you are having a bonfire, you need to be considerate towards your neighbours. Otherwise, your bonfire could be classed as a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act of 1990.

We recommend you find other ways of disposing of waste, such as recycling. With the increase in identify theft, people are increasingly starting to burn personal documents. Our advice is to purchase a shredder which are now readily available at a reasonable price.

If you do go ahead with a bonfire, please follow this advice:

  • make sure the material is dry before it is burnt. This makes the combustion process more effective
  • if a pile of waste has been there for some time, check there are no animals living in it
  • check the waste to make sure there are no pressurised containers or other items that are dangerous to burn
  • do not burn materials such as household rubbish, rubber tyres, paint, foam or anything containing plastic
  • do not start or encourage the fire using substances such as old engine oil, methylated spirits or petrol
  • talk to your neighbours before having a bonfire, to avoid potential problems such as smoke blowing over clean washing or through open windows
  • check the wind direction before lighting your bonfire, to make sure the smoke will blow away from your neighbours

Contrary to popular belief, there are no byelaws governing the time that you can have a bonfire. Again, the golden rule is that you must not cause a smoke nuisance.

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