Building site and domestic bonfires, emissions of dark smoke and emissions from industrial chimneys. You can report smoke pollution based on the type of smoke being emitted.

In this section:
Smoke from bonfires

Smoke from bonfires

Bonfires are not illegal however we do not encourage them as burning waste materials can cause pollution and local nuisance. Find out about domestic and commercial bonfires and how to report them.

bonfireDomestic bonfires

Household waste should not be burned on a bonfire as many items of household waste can be recycled.

Examples of material which cannot be burned:

  • rubber
  • tyres
  • anything containing plastic foam
  • paint including furniture or beds

If a domestic bonfire persistently causes significant nuisance from smoke or ash, an abatement notice can be served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 80. Breach of an abatement notice is an offence that can result in a fine following a hearing at a Magistrates' Court. 

Commercial bonfires

Businesses are required to ensure that their commercial waste is disposed of lawfully. The burning of waste on industrial and trade premises which emits dark smoke may be an offence under the Clean Air Act 1993 and can result in a fine following a hearing at a Magistrates' Court. 

Examples of material that cannot be burned:

  • plastics
  • paint tins
  • cement bags
  • roofing felt

Such material must be removed by a registered waste carrier to a licensed disposal site. Documentation in the form of waste transfer notes must be kept which describes the waste, how it was stored, the person whom it was transferred to and where the waste was disposed.

Note: if a commercial bonfire is happening now and dark smoke is being emitted, please call us on 01895 556000 and an officer will attempt to visit the site.

Report nuisance bonfires

Page last updated: 16 Jun 2021