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Coronavirus - garden bonfires

DATE PUBLISHED: 14 April 2020

Advice from North East Derbyshire District Council

With the current Government advice for people to stay at home North East Derbyshire District Council is providing extra advice on garden bonfires and the burning of waste to keep our residents safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Residents across the District are being asked to think of others and not light bonfires during the current pandemic.

It is important to be especially considerate at this time, when people are confined to their home and unable to escape unpleasant fumes.

Bonfires can also become out of control or cause accidents, creating extra pressure on the already busy emergency services.

We understand that the changes to collection services and the closure of recycling centres may create a storage issue for some residents. Where possible, residents are urged to consider other methods of dealing with garden waste, such as composting, or bagging up the green waste and storing until the current emergency is over.

The coronavirus is known to cause serious respiratory illnesses. Therefore, the Environmental Health Service will continue to investigate complaints about smoke nuisance during this period, including visits where appropriate. If someone is found to be causing a nuisance by burning, they could be issued with a Community Protection Notice (CPN). Failing to obey a CPN carries the possibility of criminal sanctions and can lead to seizure and forfeiture of items, default works and recovery of costs and / or a fine of up to £2,500.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Martin Thacker, said, “It is incredibly important we are all vigilant and think of others during this crisis. Garden fires are not acceptable as they can quickly become out of control and require the emergency services to attend who are already stretched due to the Covid-19 pandemic, not to mention the respiratory problems they can cause”.

“We are all in this together so please don’t have garden fires or bonfires. If you do see anyone flouting this, please get in touch with us to investigate”.

Any other types of waste besides garden waste (e.g. household waste or packaging) cannot be burned at any time. This is an offence under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act (1990) and if prosecuted carries penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment and / or an unlimited fine.

If you are experiencing nuisance from the burning of waste, please contact the Joint Environmental Health Service on: 01246 231111 or use our do it online service at any time on our website www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk

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