The council does try to collect and recycle as much rubbish as possible but sometimes this is not enough and we may need to light a bonfire to get rid of some garden and domestic waste. The most common reason to have a bonfire is to burn down hedge trimmings, pruned trees and waste as sometimes it proves too much for the council to collect. Other times are to burn confidential papers because you don’t have a shredder.
There is no law on lighting bonfires on your own private property but there are things that your local council will ask you to take into consideration when lighting a bonfire.
- Inform neighbours of your intention to make sure they don’t disapprove
- You can be fined if your bonfire gets out of control or causes an accident or dangerous driving conditions
- Burn dry waste as wet waste will cause more smoke and will take longer to get rid of
- Do not burn hazardous waste such as plastic, rubber or painted materials as these have potentially poisonous fumes
Although there is no law on bonfires and when you can have them, some councils insist that they should be done after 6pm but if you have nice neighbours and warn them beforehand, there is no reason why you can’t have them during the (cloudy miserable) day.
If you have more than a few bonfires a year, you may get a visit from the local council as it will be considered a nuisance and you could be fined up to £5000 and a further £500 if you do not comply. However this will only apply in extreme cases when a person does them all the time.
If you do decide to have a garden bonfire, try to keep it small and have a hose to hand just in case the bonfire gets too big and out of control