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Burning waste

With Bonfire Night looming the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture is raising awareness in respect of the burning of controlled waste. 

It is known from experience that businesses have used 5 November as an opportunity to dispose of waste through burning.  The message the Department is trying to send out is that burning is not an acceptable, safe or sustainable way of controlled waste disposal. 

Uncontrolled burning of waste produces smoke, malodours and particulates which pollute the environment, can be hazardous to health and affect the amenity of the locality as well as being a nuisance to neighbours.  Ultimately such behaviours may well result in criminal prosecution and substantial fines.

Current legislation requires waste producers to dispose of waste correctly, including requirements for secure storage in bespoke containers to prevent waste escaping, access for collection and transportation to a licensed waste disposal site.

Member for the Environment Directorate, Ralph Peake, MHK said:

“Uncontrolled burning of unsuitable waste produces smoke, odours and particulates that pollute the environment, are hazardous to health and are a nuisance to neighbours. DEFA has a useful guide to what can and can’t be burned and alternative methods of disposal and officers are on hand to offer advice.

The Public Health Act 1990 obliges those creating commercial and/or industrial waste to dispose of it correctly. This includes storage, transportation and disposal at a licenced facility. Ultimately, burning waste that should be disposed of in other ways may lead to prosecution and substantial fines.”

Mr Peake stressed the reminder did not relate to household, community or other bonfires, where garden waste, paper and similar are burned.

Further information can be found in a leaflet, Environmental Awareness - Controlled Waste produced by the Environment Directorate.

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