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:
Bonfire smoke

Bonfire smoke

Bonfires are not illegal; however, we do not encourage them, as burning waste materials can cause pollution and local nuisance.

Domestic bonfires

Household waste should not be burned on a bonfire but should be recycled or disposed of through our weekly rubbish and recycling collections or our waste and recycling centres, as appropriate.

Examples of material that cannot be burned include:

  • 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 (opens new window) section 80. Breach of an abatement notice is an offence that can result in a fine following a hearing at a Magistrates' Court. 

Report nuisance (domestic) bonfires

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 (opens new window) and can result in a fine following a hearing at a Magistrates' Court. 

Examples of commercial material that cannot be burned include:

  • 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 - these describe the waste, how it was stored, the person whom it was transferred to and where the waste was disposed.

Please note: If a commercial bonfire is happening now and dark smoke is being emitted, call 01895 556000 and an officer will attempt to visit the site.

Report nuisance (commercial) bonfires

Page last updated: 15 Feb 2023