Burning waste produces smoke that contains a range of pollutants that can have damaging health effects as well as being a nuisance to people living nearby.
The Council has a duty to investigate complaints of smoke nuisance and if necessary a Nuisance Abatement notice can be served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Failure to comply with the Notice can result in prosecution in court and a fine of up to £5,000.
Burning domestic waste
Garden fires can result in criminal prosecutions and substantial fines.
They cause air pollution, can be a health hazard, and are bad for the environment.
A neighbour can make a complaint to the Environmental Health section of the Council regarding smoke from fires.
Neighbours can also take their own action on persistent burning through the courts.
Contact the Environmental Health section for more information on taking your own action.
Businesses and waste burning
Burning is not an acceptable or safe way of disposing of commercial waste material.
The Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a Duty of Care on businesses to ensure that all waste produced is disposed of correctly (secure storage to prevent waste escaping, and transportation by a legally authorised contractor with written documentation on a transfer note).
Businesses are legally required to retain the waste transfer documentation for a minimum of 2 years and could be requested to produce them at any time.
Failure to comply with this request is a criminal offence and you may be issued with an on the spot fine of £300 or, on summary conviction, a fine of up to £5,000 and an unlimited fine on conviction on indictment.
Smoke can also cause a nuisance to neighbours. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a duty on the Council to investigate complaints of smoke nuisance, which can result in a Statutory Nuisance Abatement Notice being served.
Breach of such a notice on industrial, trade or business premises can result in a fine not exceeding £20,000.
The Clean Air Act 1993 makes it an offence to allow dark smoke to be emitted from any industrial or trade premises, with a fine of up to £20,000.