Burning leaves and branches?

Discussion in 'Homes and gardens' started by Joe Nonety, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Joe Nonety

    Joe Nonety Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    414
    Is it OK to have a bonfire to burn leaves and branches in your back garden?
    I know that bonfires in general are banned but I heard that it's OK to burn leaves and branches.
     
  2. setemupjoe

    setemupjoe Guest

    yes its fine once you dont burn any plastics etc or rubbish . and your next door neighbours washing isnt on the line ;)
     
  3. demoivre

    demoivre Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    2,098
    AFAIK this is incorrect. The burning of Waste is an illegal practice under the Waste Management Act 1996 and 2003 and the Air Pollution Act 1987. There are some exceptions for farmers burning agricultural vegetation such as stubble.
     
  4. setemupjoe

    setemupjoe Guest

    I think you will be fine burning leaves and branches ,there really only after the serial polluters,burning household/industrial rubbish. then again you could always do the green option and drive to the nearest green waste centre(miles from most people in dublin )and give it to the nice man ,putting more serious pollutants into the air from your car drive and from the machines they use to dispose of it ;) or if your really green you could walk with it :))
     
  5. stresshead

    stresshead Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    95
    There was a guy from the EPA on Matt Cooper last Thursday and he said it was fine to burn green waste. Hope this helps!
     
  6. lukegriffen

    lukegriffen Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    136
    I'm surprised about this, I thought burning anything was illegal.

    I'd burn the branches, but not the leaves, as these will generate a lot more smoke, and could be composted more easily. I'm dying for the day when I get a brown wheelie bin, it'll be full every week.

    PS. I think the ashes from burning the branches can be mixed in with soil as a kind of compost, but maybe someone else can confirm this.
     
  7. tosullivan

    tosullivan Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    1,741
    burning branches that are just cut might be a bit difficult as they will still contain a lot of moisture/sap.

    I had thought about this too
     
  8. stresshead

    stresshead Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    95
    Yeah the same guy from the EPA said that it is an effective way of returning nutrients to the soil. I'm just quoting him though - like you I was surprised as I thought all backyard burning was banned
     
  9. demoivre

    demoivre Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    2,098
    Difficult to see how he can say that given the definition of "Air Pollution" in the Air Pollution Act 1987.






     
  10. ang1170

    ang1170 Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    1,164
    That definition reads like it was specifically designed to keep lawyers busy for years!
     
  11. demoivre

    demoivre Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    2,098
    Yes , I agree, though my take on it is that you can't burn so called green waste. Clare County Council have a more clear cut policy it would seem.
     
  12. bartbridge

    bartbridge Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    207
    I asked a waste enforcement officer and you can burn your garden waste such as hedge trimmings. As long as you don't put anything else in with it that is, most neighbours are conscientious now and will blow the whistle on offenders...
     
  13. liteweight

    liteweight Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    1,688
    You can't burn garden waste in the Dublin area.
     
  14. mct1

    mct1 Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    161
    Who was that? Just curious. Many of the County Council websites (including Sligo, Meath, Cork, Cavan) point out that it is prohibited under the Waste Management Act 1996 - 2003 and the Air Pollution Act 1987 to burn green waste. I'd get the EPA guy's name so you can call him as a defence witness when you get prosecuted.
     
  15. NiallA

    NiallA Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    179
    The wildlife act says you cannot burn grub or destroy trees hedgerows etc between march and september. this could lead you to believe that it is acceptable at other times.
    The waste management acts 1996-2005 prohibits the handling of any waste in a manner likely to cause pollution.
    The air pollution act prohibits the emmision of smoke which is likely to cause a nuisance
    The roads act prohibits the burning of material which leads to smoke causing a traffic hazard
    the forestry act requires permission from either the owner or the local gardai for any burning within 1 mile of forestry not within your ownership.

    Generally i would say that if
    (a) you are only burning branches and leaves (this is unlikely to cause environmental pollution)
    (b) you are burning from October to february
    (c) you are not near a public road
    (d) you are not near any neighbours that you are likely to cause a nuisance to
    (e) you are not near any forestry


    you are ok.
     
  16. bartbridge

    bartbridge Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    207
    It was Dara Lynott who is fairly high up in the EPA as it goes... Why not just ring your local authority and ask them?
     
  17. NiallA

    NiallA Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    179
    Dara Lynott is one of the directors of the EPA, very high up
     
  18. Killter

    Killter Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    258
    That seasonal ban from march to October is meanst i think to protect "standing" or live hedgerows as this is also the time period when a ban is in force preventing the cutting of hedgerows.

    The purpose of this is to protect nesting birds.

    This law does not mention the burning of cut vegetation, as I presume it doesnt matter what time of year you burn cut vegetation.

    And as for returning nutrients to the soil-burning is the most effective way of returning macro and micro nutrients to soil as the decomposition process by organisms is by passed directly. Ever see a bog a few days after a burn? Its as green as a golf course with new grass growth.
     
  19. mct1

    mct1 Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    161
    Sorry, maybe I was being a little mischievous. I think in the past the EPA's position on this has been that it was illegal and this has been reflected in the line taken by various local authorities. But I believe that Dara Lynott's statement on Matt Cooper shows a more enlightened and pragmatic approach to the subject of burning green waste and is legally and environmentally correct.
     
  20. P.Ranks

    P.Ranks Registered User

    Posts:
    31
    This really depends on where you live. A few coco's have it as their policy that no burning of any waste should take place, this makes it easier to enforce the regs. The policy is based upon the individual coco's interpretation of the air pollution act as well as the waste management act. Most of the people involved in enforcement have some sort of environmental nous, and know that the burning of green waste like brush, branches, grass whatever is not going to cause environmental pollution, but it may cause nuisance, which is also something to consider, depending on where one may intend to burn of the waste. But if the coco in question does not allow the burning of any waste, it makes it easier for the chaps on the ground to enforce, as in, if theres any fire, its a case of 'put it out or else'. If they were to allow burning, then 9 times out of ten, the burner would be sneaking in a few bags of this and the old buckets from up the back etc. If you're caught in the act of burning bushes or whatever the green material might be, even if you are in an area who policy is not to allow it, you would be terribly unlucky to be prosecuted for it, as it would be pretty difficult to prove that there was serious environmental pollution caused as a result of burning only green material, and anyway, as I said most of those involved use their discretion.
    Also, in order to clear this situation up, I think there are new regs. on the way which will include provision for the burning of green waste under permit (coco will come out and have a look before you burn, and issue permit), while also introducing an On The Spot fine of €500 for those who are caught burning materials likle plastic etc., which is certainly going to cause env. pollution if burnt. This means they don't have to go to court, the fine is issued, and if they want to appeal, then they can go to court and risk larger penalties.