Even one bonfire can spoil the environment, and annoy neighbours by making their homes dirty.
What are the risks from bonfires?
Smoke from bonfires and burning rubbish contains irritating, sometimes poisonous substances.
Don't use a bonfire to dispose of domestic waste
You can't get rid of household waste if it will cause pollution or harm people's health. This includes burning it.
Our booklet lists easy ways to dispose of rubbish instead of having a bonfire. For example:
- recycle or compost kitchen waste
- use a council rubbish tip
- use our recycling and garden waste schemes
Report a bonfire to us
If smoke from a neighbouring house or business is affecting your quality of life, let us know using the online form.
You will need to:
Log into your MyAccount (or create an account if you don't already have one) to complete the form. MyAccount is an easier and quicker way to interact with us and is available 24/7.
Tell us as much as you can about:
- how the problem affects you
- how significant the problem is eg how often it occurs, and how long it lasts
What we can do
If we decide the problem is causing a statutory nuisance:
- we'll try to resolve the problem informally, by offering advice and guidance to those responsible
- if that doesn't work, we can sometimes take action under the Environmental Services Act, which carries fines of up to £20,000
We can also declare a Smoke Control Area. This means that:
- people can only use authorised fuels, or exempted furnaces and boilers
- chimney smoke is not allowed, with only a few exceptions
People who don't comply can be fined up to £1,000 for each offence.