Bonfires can become irritating to surrounding premises if the smoke and smell prevents the hanging out washing, opening windows and the use of outdoor areas by others.

We would advise against having a bonfire.

For alternative methods of safely disposing of your waste, please see our Recycling Helper.

If you do have a bonfire, try to avoid burning at weekends and bank holidays.

Make sure you only burn dry material and do not leave a fire unattended or smouldering.

We can take action on regular garden bonfires if the smoke can be classified as a statutory nuisance.

For this we will investigate to establish:

  • The amount of smoke
  • How often it happens and for how long
  • How unreasonable the activity is

Please contact the Police if the smoke is drifting across a road and endangering traffic.

It is an offence, subject to certain exemptions, to emit dark smoke from industrial or trade premises.

This would include any premises which are being used for a trade, such as a domestic premises where work is being undertaken.

Businesses must not burn any commercial waste, not even cardboard.

You have an obligation to dispose of waste in a legal manner.  This does not include burning.

If you are suffering from a smoke nuisance, we would encourage you to speak to the person or business creating the problem.

If this is unsuccessful, we may be able to help.

Please note that we are unlikely to deal with a one-off situation in a formal way unless the nuisance is particularly significant or is affecting a large number of households.