Disposal by Burning

New regulations, the Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009, that specifically prohibit the disposal of household and commercial waste by uncontrolled burning, (also called 'backyard burning') were signed into law on the 27th July 2009. These regulations explicitly make the disposal of waste by uncontrolled burning (including any such burning occurring in a domestic fireplace) an offence under both the Air Pollution Act, 1987 and the Waste Management Acts, 1996 as amended.

The main points:

  • It is illegal to burn any household or commercial wastes i.e. backyard burning.
  • It is illegal to burn garden or park wastes. These should be either home composted, put into the brown organic bin or brought to a civic amenity site.
  • Only uncontaminated Agricultural Waste (e.g. cut foliage, gorse, hedgegrows, branches, old straw, untreated grass etc from agricultural practices) may be burned providing:

  • (a) It does not create a nuisance to surrounding neighbours.
  • (b) It is a last resort after steps have been taken to reduce & recycle waste.
  • (c) The burning activity does not breach the provisions of the Wildlife Act.
  • Under the Wildlife Acts, 1976 & 2000, it is an offence to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation on lands or vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch from the 1st March to 31st August. Callers should ring the National Parks & Wildlife Service (01-8882000) if you have any queries in relation to this.

    Also, before a person burns uncontaminated agricultural waste, the following Notifications must be adhered to:

  • (d) Notification to Environment Section for the Burning of Agricultural Waste.
  • An Burning of Agricultural Waste Notification Form must be filled out and sent by email to contact@waterfordcouncil.ie or by post to Environment Section, Waterford City & County Council, Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co Waterford prior to any activity taking place.

  • (e) Notification to Fire Authority for the Burning of Agricultural Wastes.

  • Anyone wishing to burn agricultural wastes is required to notify the Fire Service MRCC (Munster Regional Control Centre) by dialing 999. Callers should inform the MRCC of the time and location of the proposed burning so as to avoid any unnecessary deployment of fire tenders. The MRCC should also be informed upon cessation of the burning activity. Failure to give notice of your intention to carry out controlled burning of waste may result in Fire Brigade resources being deployed to the scene of the fire and fire charges issued to land owner.