Council issues warning against ‘Backyard burning’ and bonfires

Donegal County Council is reminding householders and businesses that the burning of waste often known as “Backyard Burning’ is illegal.

Backyard burning is the uncontrolled burning of waste, which is frequently carried out in backyards in a barrel or open pile, or even waste burned in open fires, ranges or other solid fuel appliances.

It also applies to burning waste in a ‘home or garden incinerator’ that are frequently advertised.

The council says this activity in any of these situations is illegal.

Backyard Burning is illegal and is an offence under the Waste Management Act, the Air Pollution Act  and the Waste Management (Prohibitions of Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009.

The council reminds the public that it is also an offence for householders or businesses to supply waste materials to parties collecting materials for ‘Bonfire Night’, and, it is illegal to give waste to a person that does not have a waste collection permit.

Donegal County Council is currently undertaking an audit of certain businesses to ensure that there is compliance under the relevant legislation and to ensure that waste materials are not supplied for the practice of burning on bonfires.

There are some exemptions under the regulations where burning is permissible. These are only in the case of some agricultural wastes namely uncontaminated  wood, trees, tree trimmings, leaves, brush, or other similar waste generated by agricultural practices.

The disposal of these permitted wastes by burning are permitted provided the farmer looks at all other reasonable options before burning and gives advance notice to the Local Authority before burning.